Jan van Dijk, who is regarded by many as the founder of communication and assessment for people who are deafblind, passed away after a short illness last Tuesday 23rd January at the age of 80.
During his long career as a teacher, psychologist and psychiatrist, he developed a myriad of dynamic interaction and communication methods for the benefit of people who are deafblind based on calendar systems, turn taking, co-active activities and resonance.
Jan was a regular visitor to Ireland and most recently facilitated training sessions and assessment in 2016 to Irish people and families affected by deafblindness.
We were honoured to have him visit the Anne Sullivan Centre in 2000 where he provided valuable support and feedback to staff and families on how to develop skills interacting and understanding the needs of people who are deafblind.
We will remember him as a warm and engaging speaker whose theories and communication methods greatly enhanced the lives of people who are congenitally deafblind.