We receive with great sadness and shock the news of the death on November 30th, 2021 of our dear friend and colleague of the AEAL Board of Directors Donna Jackson-Maldonado, researcher and professor at the Center for Linguistic and Literary Studies of the Autonomous University of Querétaro in Mexico.
Donna herself represented the best multidisciplinary, multicultural and multilingual values that inspire our Association, with which she always maintained a generous and unwavering commitment for which we owe her permanent gratitude. We will always remember her closeness, her know-how, her intellectual rigor, her determination, her friendship and her insightful gaze so deeply communicative of her.
The figure of Donna is essential in the panorama of Language Acquisition studies of the last four decades. From its beginnings in the Department of Human Communication of the University of the Americas and in the General Directorate of Special Education of the Secretariat of Education, it was a pioneer in the dissemination of knowledge about the development of language and its alterations (1982), the acquisition of sign language and total communication (1981, 1983, 1985) and the evaluation of language from a cross-cultural perspective (1988). His doctoral thesis focused on the study of early pragmatic development, in the wake of the renewal of what he considered his great teacher Liz Bates, with whom he collaborated at the Language Research Center of the University of California at San Diego on an Inventory of Development. of Communication Skills (1989), a prelude to his prominent role in the development of the MacArthur Bates CDI.
Encounters, workshops, courses, forums, symposia and innumerable congresses on both sides of the Atlantic had his outstanding contribution, both in the field of the language clinic (ASHA, AELFA) and, above all, in the broader forums of the IASCL and AEAL, where most of us had the privilege of knowing it and admiring its scientific and human qualities. Since her participation in the VI Congress of the IASCL in Trieste (1993), during which she attended a workshop of the CHILDES Project, she was committed to this initiative that led her to contribute a valuable corpus together with Donna Thal. Due to its significance in our field, we especially remember its presence at the VIII IASCL Congress in San Sebastián (1999) and at the AEAL Congresses of Oviedo (2007), Barcelona (2010), Bilbao (2013), Palma (2016 ) and Madrid (2019), where we were all able to share very pleasant moments with her.
The will and efforts to improve communication and the lives of children, bilingual and monolingual, with oral or written language problems, of few economic resources, born prematurely, deaf children, with language delay or with Down syndrome, as well like the desire to help their families, they guided their tireless work. She always transmitted her teaching vocation and her devotion to her students, the greatest repositories of her academic legacy.
We all feel very deeply that Donna has left us in her full vitality and on behalf of the AEAL and its Board of Directors I want to express our heartfelt condolences to her husband Ricardo Maldonado, to her children Valeria and Adrián, and to those who knew her and enjoyed her friendship and his teaching.
Descansa en Paz, Atseden Bakean, Descansa en Pau. Rest in Peace, Descansa en Paz.
Eliseo Diez Itza, Presidente de AEAL