Esther van Dijk

Esther van Dijk


Royal Kentalis is a national organization in the Netherlands, specialized in providing diagnostics, care and education amongst others to persons who are deafblind. Our expertise is focused on bridging communication barriers.
Our staff members work in order to support children and adults with deafblindness but also persons who are deaf and / or have complex communication needs. Important themes are access to
communication, information, daily living skills and awareness. Kentalis offers care (assessment, therapy, adapted living, day care and work), schools for the deafblind and research.


At the Kentalis Academy over 50 scientists conduct research together with health care professionals, educational professionals and experts (people with deafblindness, parents). We collaborate (inter)nationally with other health care, education and knowledge institutions. Our research is focused on improving the quality and effectiveness of our health care and educational services.
Between 15 and 20 researchers work on the research program Deafblindness and Complex Communication Needs. We share our knowledge and latest insights with people from our target groups, their environment and with professionals. For example by developing and organising professional training.


Saskia Damen has been appointed professor by special appointment at the University of Groningen (RUG) on 1 September 2022.
In the chair 'Development and learning of persons with multiple disabilities and complex communication needs and of persons with congenital or early acquired deafblindness' she focuses on the development, evaluation and implementation of diagnostic tools and interventions.


Kentalis was one of the founders of Deafblind International in the 1950s. We have been a large corporate member of Deafblind International since then. We find it very important to organise
knowledge and find connections all over the world as the number of people with deafblindness is very small.


Trees van Nunen is DbI network coordinator (0031612717768)
and Esther van Dijk is DbI treasurer (0031621897031). (in Dutch).