Who are we?


Aoife Brady

Aoife is an EU Research Project Manager in ADAPT. She has also worked as a industry-focussed Project Manager having managed 24 projects with ADAPT industry partners since 2015. She has Project Management Professional (PMP) certification, is a qualified Computer Engineer (TCD) and holds an MSc by Research in Computer Science (TCD). Aoife has also contributed to 11 peer-reviewed academic publications.

Jane Dunne

Jane Dunne is the Senior EU Research Projects Coordinator coordinating the management and administration of multiple high-value research Language Technology projects within the ADAPT Centre at Dublin City University. Jane holds a BSc. in Computational Linguistics and previous to working in DCU worked in Project Management in a number of non-profit organisations.

Elizabeth Mathews

Dr Elizabeth Mathews is an Assistant Professor with the School of Inclusive and Special Education at Dublin City University, Ireland.  She holds a MA in Deaf Education from Gallaudet University and a PhD from Maynooth University, Ireland. Her work in deaf education spans research, policy change and practice. She is the project lead for the Irish Sign Language STEM Glossary Project, funded by Science Foundation Ireland. Her research interests are varied and include literacy, social-emotional development, and ideology in deaf education. She is the author of Language, Power, and Resistance: Mainstreaming Deaf Education published by Gallaudet University Press.  In 2019, after ten years of campaigning, she developed an initiative that led to policy change in Ireland allowing Deaf people, for the first time in the history of the State, to become primary school teachers.

Shaun O'Boyle

Dr Elizabeth Mathews is an Assistant Professor with the School of Inclusive and Special Education at Dublin City University, Ireland.  She holds a MA in Deaf Education from Gallaudet University and a PhD from Maynooth University, Ireland. Her work in deaf education spans research, policy change and practice. She is the project lead for the Irish Sign Language STEM Glossary Project, funded by Science Foundation Ireland. Her research interests are varied and include literacy, social-emotional development, and ideology in deaf education. She is the author of Language, Power, and Resistance: Mainstreaming Deaf Education published by Gallaudet University Press.  In 2019, after ten years of campaigning, she developed an initiative that led to policy change in Ireland allowing Deaf people, for the first time in the history of the State, to become primary school teachers.


Davy Van Landuyt

Mr. Davy Van Landuyt is a deaf Belgian with roots in the social-cultural movement and association work in the deaf community, going through all possible layers from the local level to the European level. In 2020 he obtained his certification as Specialist in Spanish Sign Language from the Spanish Fundación CNSE, which qualifies him to teach LSE (Spanish Sign Language) and/or to work as a deaf role model with deaf children in Spanish schools. Since 2021, he works as Project Officer for the European Union of the Deaf. Outside of his commitments in the deaf community, Davy is also active in the area of localization, specifically videogame and software localization in the Dutch language.

Frankie Picron

Mr. Frankie Picron is EUD’s Project Manager. With a master’s degree in Law, he represents the deaf community when it comes to expressing various issues such as access to employment, political participation, and equality in public and private life of deaf people. He regularly provides insights from his past experience as a Policy Assistant on human rights issues. He has actively contributed to the H2020 Action NEXES project (Next Generation Emergency Services), Erasmus+ DESIGNS project (Deaf Employment for Sign Language Users in the EU) and Signteach project and continues to manage projects while demonstrating his human skills and ability to take into account the interests of stakeholders.

Mark Wheatley

Mr. Mark Wheatley is the Executive Director of EUD since 2007. In this position, he has the responsibility to promote the Deaf Community in EU countries and attend all European level meetings related to deaf/disability issues and, if appropriate, give information relating legal consequences of measures taken by EU institutions, such as the European Parliament, the European Commission and the Council of Ministers. Aside from building and strengthening the EUD networking with EU institutions, Mr. Wheatley is responsible for EUD's communication with member organisations. Previous to working at EUD, Mr. Wheatley was the managing director of Red Lizard Limited, a company providing media, publishing, presentation and design services for businesses, service providers and consumers that cater to deaf communities.

Rehana Omardeen

Rehana Omardeen is a Project Officer at EUD. She is hearing and from Trinidad and Tobago. Rehana has a background in sign language linguistics, and has studied in the US, the Netherlands and Germany. Her PhD research at the University of Göttingen focused on language documentation and description of an indigenous Caribbean sign language used in Providence Island, Colombia.

Ghent University

Mathieu De Coster

Mathieu De Coster is a PhD student at the IDLab-AIRO research group at Ghent University, Belgium. His main research topic is automatic sign language recognition and translation using deep learning and self-supervised learning, supervised by Prof. Dr. Joni Dambre. He holds a Msc degree in Computer Science Engineering from Ghent University.


Vincent Vandeghinste

Vincent Vandeghinste is a senior researcher at the Instituut voor de Nederlandse Taal (INT, Dutch Language Institute), where he coordinates the tasks on Contemporary Dutch, and is working on topics such as CLARIN and other linguistic infrastructure, treebanking, machine translation, and language technology for inclusion. He has a PhD in Linguistics and a Master in (Experimental) Psychology. He is also affiliated with the Centre for Computational Linguistcs and Leuven.AI at the University of Leuven, where he is involved in courses on Machine Translation, Computational Linguistics, Computational Lexicography and Language Engineering Applications. In SignON he is mostly involved in the tasks about data collection.

Bob Boelhouwer 

Marco van der Laan

Marco works as a System Engineer at the Instituut voor de Nederlandse taal (INT, Institute for Dutch language) since 2008. He has been working on improving and maintaining the digital infrastructure to facilitate the scientific and educational work at INT. He has worked together with Bob Boelhouwer in realizing INT as a CLARIN-B center. Marco and his team are responsible for the day to day maintenance of the online services and support project groups in the developing of new applications.

KU Leuven

Tim Van der Cruys

Tim Van de Cruys's main research interest is natural language processing, with a particular focus on the unsupervised modeling of meaning, the analysis of multivariate language data within the mathematical framework of tensor algebra, and creative language generation. He is currently an associate professor with the Linguistics Department at the Faculty of Arts, KU Leuven. Previously, he was a CNRS researcher affiliated to the IRIT computer science laboratory in Toulouse. He obtained his PhD from the University of Groningen, and held post doctoral positions at INRIA in Paris, and the University of Cambridge.

Ineke Schuurman

Ineke Schuurman is a researcher at KU Leuven, Centre for Computational Linguistics. She was involved in lots of projects, and lately coordinated the EU project Able-to-Include (on Social Inclusion of people with Down Syndrome or other Intellectual Disabilities). Currently she is also involved in two COST Actions, NexusLinguarum (on Linguistic Linked Open Data) and a-STEP (on Social Inclusion of people with Autism Spectrum Disorder and/or Intellectual Disability). Within NexusLinguarum she is leader of a task on MultiModality, one of the modalities being Sign Language. Within SignON she is interested in WordNet and the like.

Lien Soetemans

Lien Soetemans is a research assistant at the University of Leuven (KU Leuven) for the SignON project. She is an active sign language interpreter in various settings and board member of the professional association of sign language interpreters in Flanders. Previously, she worked for the JUSTISIGNS project.

Bram Vanroy

Bram Vanroy is a post-doctoral researcher at KU Leuven in Belgium. In SignON he works on symbolic representations and interlingua. Large language modeling and machine translation (evaluation) are at the heart of his interests. He is also active in the open-source community in these fields; among others as a Hugging Face Fellow.

He received his doctoral title from Ghent University while working on PreDicT (Predicting Difficulty in Translation) as a member of the Language and Translation Technology Team (LT³). He obtained a Master's degree in Computational and Formal Linguistics, followed by an Advanced Master's degree in Artificial Intelligence, both at KU Leuven.

Lisa Rombouts

Lisa Rombouts holds a post-graduate degree in conference interpreting from KU Leuven and is an active interpreter Flemish Sign Language - Dutch since 2017. She used to work for the Flemish Sign Language Centre (VGTC) as a linguistic researcher, before focussing full-time on her interpreting work. Currently, she combines interpreting with her job as a research assistent for the SignON project.


Connor O'Reilly

Connor O’Reilly, BSc, MAC’s Development Manager, has 25 years experience of electronics and software product development, with particular skills in specification, budgeting and scheduling, new business opportunity assessment and planning, project and team management, and system designs.

Ed Keane

Ed Keane, BSc, MSc Applied Physics, MAC Senior Development Engineer, has over 20 years experience of software design, engineering and development of mobile and distributed application solutions using Zigbee and web-service technologies.

John J. O'Flaherty

Dr. John J. O'Flaherty, BE, MBA, Technical Director of MAC, has 38 years experience of technical project management and development. John has undertaken extensive innovation management and managed productisation of technical IP, provided technical consultancy, and completed many project reviews and evaluations for the European Commission.


Henk van den Heuvel

Dr Henk van den Heuvel is director of the Centre for Language and Speech Technology (CLST) at Radboud University Nijmegen. CLST has contributed to projects for improved speech recognisers for oral history research, for 112 calls at the national police, and debates in the Dutch Parliament (Tweede Kamer). He also coordinates the PDI-SSH project Homed for improving Dutch speech recognisers in the medical domain and is involved in CLARIAH PLUS tasks for improving speech recognition of dialect speech (T031) and data curation (T004). He coordinates the CLARIN Knowledge Centre for Atypical Communication Expertise (ACE) and the CLARIN-supported DELAD initiative for sharing corpora of speech of individuals with communication disorders (CSD) among researchers.

Louis ten Bosch

Louis ten Bosch studied mathematics and musicology at Leiden University, the Netherlands, and did a PhD on the structure of vowel systems under supervision of Louis Pols at the University of Amsterdam. After work on Dutch intonation at the Institute for Perception Research (IPO) at Eindhoven he joined L&H Speech Products in Wemmel, Flanders to work on high-end Automatic Speech Recognition (LVCSR). In 2003 he joined CLST/CLS at the Radboud University (Nijmegen, NL) to work on dialogue systems, audio-meaning mappings, computational models of human speech comprehension, the morphological-acoustic interface, and interpretable AI.

Aditya Parikh

My name is Aditya Parikh and I am working as a junior researcher at the Centre for Language and Speech Technology, Radboud University, Netherlands. I have completed my Masters of Science in Electrical Engineering and Information Technology from Otto-von-Guericke University, Magdeburg in March 2021. I have a deep interest in Speech related technologies i.e. Speech Recognition, Speech Emotion Recognition combined with Artificial Intelligence. In my free time, I like to play and watch Cricket and Table Tennis and I love cooking as well.


Catia Cucchiarini

Dr. Catia Cucchiarini is a Senior Advisor at the Dutch-Flemish language policy organization Taalunie (Union for the Dutch Language) in the Hague, where she is in charge of policy concerning the digital language infrastructure for Dutch and its contribution to increasing accessibility and inclusion. She is also Principal Investigator in the Research Group Language & Speech, Learning & Therapy and the Centre for Language and Speech Technology of the Radboud University in Nijmegen, where she conducts research on speech processing, language learning, and speech technology applications in Computer Assisted Language Learning and e-health.


Lorraine Leeson

Rachel Moiselle

Rachel Moiselle is currently pursuing a PhD at Trinity College Dublin as part of the SignON project. Rachel’s role within SignON is to provide robust descriptions of the linguistic patterning of signed languages, specifically the gestural substrate of Irish Sign Language (ISL) and depiction. This research will feed into the computational work required for the machine translation approaches which SignON is seeking to develop. Rachel graduated from Trinity College Dublin in 2015 with an honours degree in Deaf Studies. Previously, she worked in a research capacity on the Deaf Employment for Sign Language Users in the EU (DESIGNS) project and prior to joining the SignON team, was employed as a Project Officer in AHEAD: Creating Inclusive Environments in Education and Employment for People with Disabilities. Her profoundly positive experiences in these two areas of work have given her both a love for research and also a keen professional interest in diversity, equity, and inclusion advocacy.

Anthony Ventresque

Dr Anthony Ventresque founded and leads the TCD Complex Software Lab. Dr Ventresque received his Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from the University of Nantes & INRIA France in 2008. He is currently an Associate Professor in the School of Computer Science and Statistics at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, and a Funded Investigator with Lero, the SFI Irish Software Research Centre. Previously he held positions as Research Fellow at NTU, Singapore (2010–2011), UCD, Ireland (2012–2014), and IBM Research Dublin, Ireland (2014–2015).

Ellen Rushe

Ellen is a postdoctoral researcher in Trinity College Dublin working on sign language recognition as part of SignON. She completed her PhD at the Insight Centre for Data Analytics in University College Dublin. She also holds a MSc in computer science from UCD and a BA in music technology from Maynooth University. Her research interests include deep learning for data streams and novelty detection.

Ruth Holmes

Ruth Holmes is a PhD student at the Complex Software Lab in Trinity College Dublin, supervised by Dr. Anthony Ventresque. Her main research topic is sign language recognition with a focus on low resource languages. She also holds a MSc in Computer Science from UCD.

David Loughrey

Tilburg University

TU Dublin


Euan McGill

Euan is a Doctoral Researcher at Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, working in the field of natural language understanding and text generation as it relates to verbal and sign language translation. He is particularly interested in the multimodality of human communication, and using this quality to improve accessibility in language technology. Previously Euan attended The University of Edinburgh where he obtained an MSc in Speech and Language Processing, an MA (Hons) in Linguistics, and conducted research on sociophonetics. Afterwards, he worked in industry for three years as a Computational Linguist on commercial voice assistant products.

Horacio Saggion

Horacio Saggion is an associate professor at the Department of Information and Communication Technologies, Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona) and head of the Large-scale Text Understanding Systems Lab at TALN. He obtained his PhD from Université de Montréal in the year 2000. His research interests in Natural Language Processing (NLP) include automatic text summarization, text simplification, text accessibility and analysis of social media texts. He has been principal investigator for UPF for EU projects such as Dr. Inventor, Able2Include, and several Spanish projects. He has authored over 150 peer reviewed papers in NLP. In 2017 he published the book Automatic Text Simplification and in 2019 co-edited an special issue on emoji’s semantics for ACM Transactions on Social Computing. He serves as reviewers for several prestigious conferences and journals in NLP and Artificial Intelligence and has served as chair for a number of NLP conferences. He has also given invited talks and seminars at conferences, workshops, and universities.

Santiago Egea Gomez

Santiago Egea is an Associate Researcher at the Department of Information and Communication Technologies, Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona). He studied Telecommunication Engineering at Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena and concluded in 2020 his PhD on Machine Learning applied to Internet Networks at Universidad de Valladolid. His research interests range from Signal Processing to Natural Language Processing with a special focus on Artificial Intelligence-assisted applications and Deep Learning. He is author of several papers in top-tier journals in which he is also reviewer.

Josep Blat

Josep Blat leads the Interactive Technologies Group at Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona (where he is a full Professor in Computer Science), in charge of implementing a web based interactive virtual signer. This is aligned with his current research interests in web based interactive 3D graphics (character animation, effects, games) with applications in media; and in human-computer interaction (collaborative narratives, older people, ethnography, geolocation, smart playful devices). Ph.D. from Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, U.K., post-doc in Paris-Dauphine, he has been collaborating extensively in international collaborative projects with film, broadcasting and games industries.

Victor Ubieto

Víctor Ubieto is a Support Researcher and Assistant Professor at the Interactive Technologies Group (GTI) at Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona. He studied Audiovisual Systems Engineering at Universitat Pompeu Fabra and extended his studies with the Computer Vision Master at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. He is particularly interested in multiple Computer Graphics fields, such as Rendering, Physics Simulation, and Computer Animation.

Eva Valls

Eva Valls, a member of the Interactive Technologies Group at Universitat Pompeu Fabra, is a research and adjunct professor. With a background in audiovisual systems and computer science, she explores innovative ways of real-time 3D virtual agent animation and human interaction. Eva is driven by a passion for making technology socially beneficial and accessible to all, with a focus on simplifying it through visual programming.

Jaume Pozo

Jaume Pozo is a Support Researcher at the Interactive Technologies Group (GTI) at Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona. He studied Computer Engineering at Universitat Pompeu Fabra. Attracted by the underlying laws of nature and how they shape us, his recent research is about procedural synthesis of animations.


Olatz Perez de Viñaspre

Dr. Olatz Perez de Viñaspre is a lecturer and researcher in the HiTZ center and the Ixa research group at the Computer Science Faculty of the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU). She received her PhD in Computer Science from the University of the Basque Country in 2017 and has been Post-Doctoral researcher at the Faculty of Computer Science since then, as well as a temporary lecturer at the Faculty of Engineering in the same University. She has published over 20 international refereed articles and conference papers in Machine Translation applied to terminology and the clinical domain. She has participated in international (MT4All, LIHLITH), national (DOTT-HEALTH, PROSA-MED), regionals (TANDO, DETEAMI, QUALES, Jolasmatika) and fundations (BBVA- BigKnowledge) research projects, as well as research contracts with the Basque Public Health organization (Itzulbide and CIE-10 translation) among others.

Adrián Núñez-Marcos

Adrián Núñez-Marcos is a post-doctoral researcher at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU). He holds a PhD in machine learning from the University of Deusto (Bilbao, Spain) and a MSc and a BSc in computer sciences from the UPV/EHU.

Gorka Labaka

Gorka Labaka is an assistant professor at the Bilbao School of Engineering of the UPV/EHU and a member of the IXA research group. He joined the IXA group in 2001, when he was still a graduate student, and obtained his PhD in Computer Science at the UPV/EHU in 2010. His main research interests are natural language processing and Machine Translation, with special interest in translation of low-resource languages. Highlights his contribution in the seminal papers on unsupervised machine translation.

Xabier Soto

Xabier Soto is a post-doctoral researcher at HiTZ center / Ixa NLP group in the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU). He is working on SignON project focusing on the translation process, and during his recent PhD and previous MSc has been working on Itzulbide project developing an MT system for translating clinical text from Basque to Spanish. His interests are centered around MT, but he is also interested in speech processing and any NLP project defined with the aim of making some direct contribution to society, with a special focus on minorities. He received his doctoral title in Language Analysis and Processing on 2021, previously obtained his Master's degree in Language Analysis and Processing on 2018, got another Master's degree in Mobile Communications on 2008, and is a Telecommunications Technical Engineer, specialized in Sound and Image, since 2007.


Hannes de Durpel

Hannes De Durpel is the coordinator of the Flemish Sign Language Centre (Vlaams Gebarentaalcentrum, VGTC), a centre of knowledge and expertise on Flemish Sign Language. He graduated as a teacher and was previously involved with the Flemish Federation of the Deaf for almost 10 years as an educational, socio-cultural and lobbying expert and later as coordinator. He also worked for three years as a research assistant in the Flemish Sign Language Corpus project at Ghent University.

Jorn Rijckaert

Jorn Rijckaert holds a master’s degree in Applied Economics - Marketing (from Ghent University) and a master’s degree in Film Studies and Visual Culture (from Antwerp University). He has worked in deaf and sign language media for over ten years (e.g., public broadcaster VRT, Media and Communication manager in the Flemish Deaf Association, freelance film maker of the deaf-led media production company Visual Box, anthropological film maker for Mobile Deaf hosted by Heriott Watt University, etc.). He is now specialised in (accessible or direct) media for deaf signers. He also works as a translator Dutch-Flemish Sign Language and English-International Sign. In the SignON project Jorn Rijckaert is responsible for communication and dissemination (WP6).

Caro Brosens

Caro Brosens graduated from KULeuven with a Bachelor in applied linguistics (Dutch - English - Spanish - Flemish Sign Language) and a Master in Journalism. Since November 2020, she works at the expertise center for Flemish Sign Language (het Vlaams GebarentaalCentrum or VGTC) as a linguistic researcher. Born hard-of-hearing but raised orally, she discovered the deaf community and sign language in her early twenties. Since then, she has volunteered in several ways within the Flemish deaf community and developed an online course for hearing parents with a deaf child for the Flemish Deaf Association Doof Vlaanderen. She is looking forward to supporting the SignON project however she can.

Sam Verstraete

Sam has been working at Vlaams GebarentaalCentrum (VGTC) since 2014. He is mainly responsible for research and financial aspects. Sam has a degree in Applied Linguistics (Flemish Sign Language) at KULeuven and is involved in the different projects of VGTC. He is also an active and well-known member of the Flemish deaf community.

Jaron Garitte

Jaron Garitte is highly experienced in translating and interpreting from (spoken/written) Dutch into Flemish Sign Language and from English into International Sign. He works as a freelancer for deaf-led media company Visual Box vzw, the Flemish national broadcaster VRT, press briefings of Flemish and national press conferences in Belgium, among others. He is co-author of the academic publication "A multiparty perspective on the provision of a co-interpreting team of deaf and hearing signed language interpreters during the COVID-19 press briefings in Belgium". He also has extensive experience in producing deaf-related reports, videos, documentaries, etc. For SignON he works on the communication and dissemination of the project (WP6).


Gregg Young

Gregg is an experienced project lead at VRT Innovation and accelerates startups at VRT Sandbox. He works on Flemish and European research projects and initiates collaborations between startups (SMEs) and VRT brands and departments. For VRT, he ran the Horizon2020 project Content4Al (https://content4all-project.eu/) that won the NAB Technology Innovation Award 2020. "Making media more accessible in an inclusive society is one of the core missions for VRT."

About SignON

SignON is a user-centric and community-driven project that aims to facilitate the exchange of information among Deaf, hard of hearing and hearing individuals across Europe, targeting the Irish, British, Dutch, Flemish and Spanish sign as well as the English, Irish, Dutch and Spanish spoken languages.
This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement No. 101017255.
Designed and Developed by WP Ability