The first Professor of Sign Language and Deaf Studies in the UK, Professor Bencie Woll has been involved in research on sign language for nearly 40 years, starting at the University of Bristol where she was a co-founder of the Centre for Deaf Studies, pioneering research on the linguistics of British Sign Language (BSL) and on Deaf Studies.
She moved to City University London in 1995 to take up the newly created Chair in Sign Language and Deaf Studies, and then to University College London in 2005. In 2006, together with colleagues at UCL and City, she founded the Deafness Cognition and Language Research Centre (DCAL), and served as Director until 2017.
Professor Woll can act as an expert witness, including the preparation of expert reports and appearing in court, in cases involving her specialist areas of expertise, which include:
• Language development in deaf children and adults
• Literacy skills and intellectual capacity of deaf people
• Communication between hearing and deaf people
• BSL skills in deaf and hearing children and adults, including developmental impairments (e.g. deaf children with additional disabilities) and acquired BSL impairments (e.g. arising from injury or illness)
• BSL and communication skills where the individual has cognitive or communication impairments related to a background of limited education or language experience
• The quality of interpreting provided by BSL/English interpreters
Professor Woll can take instructions on behalf of either claimant or defendant or as a Single Joint Expert.