August 9th, 2018
Adva started working at our lab on August 1st 2018, afer receiving a grant from the LeaDing Fellows postdocs program to conduct research on creating an inclusive school environment for deaf and hard of hearing children, with a focus on social inclusion. Read more about the research Adva is conducting here. Congratulations and welcome Adva!
How did you become interested in this area of research?
“My interest in research with children with disabilities, and deaf and hard of hearing children in particular, has both professional and personal histories. I was born deaf and my whole life I have been integrated in regular educational settings. I use hearing aids and sometimes also FM microphones, which I give people in order to hear them better in one-on-one as well as in group interactions.”
How was it growing up with hearing loss?
“I have never thought that deafness should limit me in any way. Yet at the same time I am quite aware that I am a very fortunate person since so much social, environmental, economic and familial support is needed for this to happen. In my family we are several people with hearing loss, which has helped me feel that deafness is a completely normal part of life, kind of 'I am ok' feeling which every child should have. Yet stigma is always there to be faced, throughout the life course. Blunt stigma was very rare where I grew up. I remember one teacher who said to my mother, without knowing me, that 'children with hearing loss cannot learn arithmetic'. But this kind of stigma is relatively easy to face if you have the resources to do so. What is more difficult is to achieve a sense of self-approval and belonging in the social context, while facing communication barriers in a world that is not aware, adapted or accepting of people who are considered as 'different'. For this reason I have been intensely involved in exploring emotional, social and environmental aspects which can improve the well-being of children with disabilities, using the perspectives of the children themselves.”
How has your experience at the Focus on Emotions lab been so far?
"I have found Prof. Rieffe's Focus on Emotions Lab at Leiden University a great home for my research. First, by learning from the rich expertise developed here in research on socio-emotional development of children with various disabilities that impact communication and the innovative techniques employed in this kind of research. Second, I am privileged to be here in an environment which is very accessible and open for diversity, not only to people with disabilities but to all kinds of backgrounds. There is a warm and welcoming international atmosphere here, with an inspiring collaboration between people and countries, yielding research with a valuable contribution to children's lives."