Spotlight: Gijs Bruggemann


Gijs Bruggemann is a 32 year old man with Usher Syndrome, lives in the heart of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Bruggemann grew up attending a Deaf school in Amsterdam with total communication. He was diagnosed with Usher Syndrome at 9 years old, then attended a the Rafael at Viataal school, in Sint-Michielsgestel
near Den Bosch where there was a strong oralism program. At last, he attended a mainstream program at 16 with an interpreter.

Gijs became a student at Gallaudet University and graduated with a Bachelor’s in Business Administration in 2003. Upon return, he has been advocating for the sustainable and independent living for Deaf Blind Dutch people. Gijs works at the SWDA, (  a Deaf community center, focusing on Deaf Blind services and advocacy. Bruggemann, on top of being an avid skier despite his very limited vision, travels the world. He’s been to Hawaii, most of Europe and has visited a lot of American states in pursuit of adventure and education.

His wonderful collection of vlogs make this man a gem in the Deaf Blind world – he brings you to many different perimeters of his world – from skiing fearlessly down the Swiss Alps to interviewing Deaf Blind/Usher’s people at WFD.

Here’s one of his vlogs – a must see!

To view more of Gijs’ vlogs, go to

Gijs, rock on! Show people a side of the Deaf Blind world as never seen before!

Groetjen from Amsterdam,


SPOTLIGHT ON… is a new project by Coco to turn the spotlight on fantastic Deaf Blind people that make a difference in others’ lives. There is not one, but so many Helen Kellers around the world. If you have a Deaf Blind person you think should be spotlighted, send me videos, pictures and basic information about that person to my email: .

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3 Responses to Spotlight: Gijs Bruggemann

  1. LaRonda says:

    Coco, this was wonderful. I love that you slowed down the speed on the vlog. This allows people to view it better. I really felt drawn in by this. What a great thing you are doing! I’m such a fan!

    ~ LaRonda

  2. Candice says:

    What a great idea! I am always looking for role models and what a great way to spotlight those who truly deserve it.

  3. Macc says:

    Could we get a transcript for Deaf Blind?

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