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Op woensdag 3 april is Margriet Heim overleden. Heim werkte sinds 1988 als wetenschappelijk onderzoeker bij de UvA samen met Heliomare aan de ontwikkeling van en het onderzoek naar de COCP-methodiek. Onlangs ontving zij een koninklijke onderscheiding voor haar inzet voor een betere communicatie van en met kinderen en volwassenen met een ernstige meervoudige beperking die niet of nauwelijks kunnen spreken. Prof. dr. Anne Baker, hoogleraar Algemene taalwetenschap, schreef onderstaand in memoriam:

FGw / Margriet Heim
Margriet Heim

We are sad to let you know that last Wednesday, 3 April, Margriet Heim (1955-2019) passed away. 

Margriet first studied Dutch at the University of Amsterdam (1987, cum laude). She then obtained external funding for her PhD project investigating the communication of non-speaking children (1988-2001). In the course of that work she developed and tested the effectivity of a training program for these children and their family and caregivers (COCP). This program is currently being implemented in more than half of the revalidation centres in the Netherlands. In 2011 as a post-doc she finished a research project into the use of the COCP program with children with a cognitive impairment (COCP-vg). In all this research she worked together with different institutions and could collaborate well with people working in the practical field. The report on this project won the prize for the best research publication in 2012 from the Dutch Association for Care for the Handicapped. She also researched how the COCP program could be used in the classroom. 

Her work for improving the communication possibilities for children who have difficulties with speech extended over a period of more than thirty years. She made a tremendous impact on the opportunities for children with such speech problems. Her determination and perseverance was amazing. For the total contribution she was deservedly awarded a royal commendation as Ridder in the Order of Oranje Nassau, which was recently communicated in the Faculty of Humanities’ newsletter.

Margriet also contributed considerably over her whole career to teaching at the University of Amsterdam, giving courses on language disorders and supervising students in this area. In addition, she worked as a lecturer for the Hoge School Amsterdam from 2011. She also did work as communication advisor in the Social Science Faculty and from 2012 was a senior researcher at the Kohnstamm Institute at the University of Amsterdam. She was known for her high standards and critical ability. 

Margriet felt keenly that her work on the COCP program was not finished. There is international interest in the program and work has started on translating all handbooks into English to make it accessible. This work will be continued.

Margriet’s determination and perserverance in research and her passionate personality will be missed.