UCL Psychology and Language Sciences


Dr. Robert Adam

 Robert Adam

I was Director of Continuing Professional Development/Teaching Fellow at DCAL between 2015-2020, and coordinated both short courses (both online and face to face) and academic modules (British Sign Language, Deaf culture & identities and translation courses) that are available through DCAL. Prior to that I worked as a Research Associate at DCAL and undertook research into sign language in the everyday lives of Deaf people. Examples of my research include: Deaf people who are bilingual in two sign languages, Deaf people who work as interpreters or translators in the Deaf Community and other sociolinguistic research into sign languages. I have also worked on the BSL Corpus Project. 

My doctoral research examined unimodal bilingualism (between dialects of British Sign Language and Irish Sign Language in Australia, Ireland and Northern Ireland) where language contact exists between different sign languages. I received funding from the Endangered Languages Documentation Project at SOAS to document Australian Irish Sign Language (AISL) in 2016, and from the John Wallis Foundation to develop a web resource for AISL signers and their families.

A Deaf native signer, I have been involved with sign language teaching and research for many years. Before joining DCAL I was Teacher Coordinator at City Lit in London. Also, I taught at the National Institute for Deaf Studies at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia for a number of years before joining the Australian Sign Language Lexicography Project at Renwick College, The University of Newcastle in Sydney as Research Associate. 

In 2010 I won the Provost's Award for Public Engagement in the Researcher category and with colleagues, organised a DCAL Deaf Open Day in 2010 and a DCAL Deaf Roadshow in 2011 (with the support of UCL Beacons for Public Engagement and the BSL Corpus Project) which visited Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Glasgow, Manchester and Newcastle, where Deaf people were able to attend public engagement sessions and find out about the research being done at DCAL, and have the opportunity to ask questions, provide feedback and make suggestions on future research projects. I was also nominated for a Provost’s Teaching Award in 2018 and an Inclusion Award in 2020.

Outside of DCAL I was Chair of Governors at Frank Barnes School and also previously Vice-Chair of the British Deaf Association.  I am currently Co-ordinator of the World Federation of the Deaf Expert Group on Sign Language and Deaf Studies

E-mail: Dr Robert Adam

Endangered Languages Documentation Programme: http://www.eldp.net/