Focus group

Jörg Apel

Jörg ApelJörg Apel has been self employed as a qualified lecturer for German Sign Language since 2015. Furthermore he gives guided tours through the city of Hildesheim and at the museum. He is a member of guild of city guides and at the AGV-Hildesheim. He supports the DGS-Korpus project because German Sign Language is our language.

He works as a contact person for the DGS-Korpus project together with Dana Apel. They are responsible for the regions Lower Saxony (south and east) and northern Hesse.


Annette Bach

Annette BachAnnette Bach is a multimedia-designer and worked part-time as a lecturer for German Sign Language at the adult education centre. Since October 2009 she has been working as a freelance lecturer for German Sign Language at the adult education centre and at the university of Ulm. Furthermore she does employee training courses in DGS for companies and helds courses for the staff of the institute for Sign Language in Baden-Württemberg gGmbh.

She also teaches interpreters at the institute in Winnenden. As a contact person in the DGS-Korpus project she ist responsible for the region of Baden-Württemberg.

Harro Drescher

Harro Drescher

Harro Drescher has been a freelance lecturer of German Sign Language since 2012. He is fourth-generation deaf and is therefore also well acquainted with the different DGS variants of several generations. He also has a very good knowledge of Turkish Sign Language (TID). He teaches in the Aachen area. In the DGS-Korpus project, he would like to contribute to share and permanently preserve the most important components of his native language in DW-DGS, the digital dictionary of DGS.

Ludwig Herb

Ludwig Herb

Ludwig Herb, born 1986, was raised in Baden-Württemberg, but has been living in Berlin for seven years now, where he is currently studying Deaf-Studies. Additionally he is an expert advisor on educational issues for the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth.

He is also part-time freelancing as a sign language instructor. Currently he is holding honorary posts in institutions such as the der Deutschen Gehörlosen-Jugend (German Deaf-Youth) and at the Jugendverein Berlin jubel3 (Youth Club Berlin jubel3).

Agnes Kraft

Agnes KraftAgnes Kraft is a dental technician with many years of experience.

Since 1993 she has been working avocationally as a Sign Language lecturer at the adult education centre in Kiel. Since 2009 she has been working in that job at various institutes: Theodor-Schäfer-Berufsbildungswerk, Berufschule Schleswig, Landesförderzentrum Hören and Institut für berufliche Aus- und Fortbildung. Furthermore she is the chair woman of the state-wide workgroup of lecturers for Gebärdensprache Schleswig-Holstein e.V.

She wants to support the work in the DGS-Corpus project since she thinks this project is important for the community of the Deaf. As a contact person in the DGS-Corpus project she is responsible for the region Schleswig-Holstein.

Michael Meyer

Michael MeyerMichael Meyer has been working for many years in the field of mining machinery as a CAD engineer and has recently - to meet a new challenge - changed to the field of functional fittings in the furniture industry. He was born and raised in Dortmund and is a born-and-bred "Borusse", being an assessor for public issues for the Deaf BVB-Fanclub.

As as side job he is teaching computer classes for the hearing impaired at the Fortbildungsakademie für Wirtschaft (Academy for Further Education of Economics), as well as in handicapped people working environment integration projects. As his wife is a nationally certified sign language instructor, they work from time to time together with regard to sign language. He is describing himself as an imaginative signer, who loves to tell fairy tales to his children in sign language.

Thomas Opitz-Plotzki

Thomas Opitz-Plotzki

From 1993 to 2000 Thomas Opitz-Plotzki worked as a student assistent at the Institute of German Sign Language and Communication of the Deaf at the University of Hamburg. Since 2000 he has worked as a teacher at the support centre for Hard-of-Hearing and Deaf in Bremen. Since october 2009 he was tasked by the Institute for German Sign Language as a contact person for Bremen and Lower Saxony (west).

Conny Ruppert

Conny Ruppert

Conny Ruppert (Deaf-Coda) was raised in Berlin, but has been living in Munich for many years now. In 2003 she has co-founded the sign language school Blickfang GbR. She is working as a nationally certified sign language lecturer assigned by different educational institutions and as lecturer for the training of interpreters and sign language lecturers at GIB.

She also teaches further education courses. Lately she started working at the Landshut University of Applied Sciences as a lecturer. Sign language and linguistics are not only her field, but also her passion. To her the Corpus Project is a one-time opportunity to work passionately for her mother language.

Peter Schaar

Peter Schaar

Peter Schaar, living near Saarbrücken, completed a three-year extra-occupational apprenticeship at the GIB in Nürnberg as a nationally certified lecturer for German Sign Language in mid 2012. As a full-time technician in a foundry. As a side job he is accepting some assignments related to our native language at several institutions. He took part in our corpus data collection as an informant and actively participates in our DGS-Feedback. "I gladly contribute to this big and important project, so that the signers have more support! And foremost I am excited about what is in store for us with this dictionary."

Jürgen Schlechter

Pia Steinbach

Pia SteinbachPia Steinbach was trained as a visual merchandiser and has worked in this field for many years. Since 2005 she has been working at the West Saxon University of Applied Sciences of Zwickau as a teacher for German Sign Language. In 2008 she successfully completed the extra occupational training as an officially recognised teacher for DGS in Nuremberg. Being a mother of two deaf daughters she also volunteers at the Zwickau sports club. Togehter with Matthias Mauersberger she works as a contact person covering the region of Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia. Pia and Matthias both became involved in this project, because the preservation, resarch and the passing on of the Saxon dialect of German Sign Language means a lot to them.

Former members of the focus group

Antje Hebst

Antje HebstAntje Hebst is an accomplished social assistant who is working in deaf counselling. Born in Thuringa she was raised in a deaf family and is living in Rostock since 2003. In 2016 she has been elected 2nd deputy chairperson of the regional association of the deaf in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (Gehörlosen Landesverband Mecklenburg- Vorpommern e.V. ).

In 2011 Antje Hebst was an informant for the DGS-Korpus-project and is continuing her support as a member of the projects contact group.

Contact persons

The DGS-Korpus team would like to thank all contact persons for their contribution before and during the recordings for the DGS corpus!