A New Approach For The Hunter Deaf Community

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18th October 2010, 04:28pm - Views: 1051

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Monday 18 October 2010

A New Approach for the Hunter Deaf Community

The Deaf Society of New South Wales is delighted to have been awarded a two-year Community Builders

grant to create an online Auslan training program for the friends, colleagues, and families of deaf people

in the Hunter region. 

Auslan is the sign language of the Australian Deaf Community. The Hunter Deaf Community has a vibrant

community life, but a desperate shortage of qualified interpreters for access to medical appointments,

events, training, and other life-important situations. Hearing people who are interested to learn,

however, face challenges even to get basic training. 

Auslan training courses are the first step for people who want to work as Auslan interpreters, but the

pathways often just aren’t there. “People who wish to learn to communicate with deaf people face an

uphill battle in regional areas. There’s not much available, and the numbers are too small to run courses

often,” says the Deaf Society’s Director of Services, Colin Allen.

For spoken languages, the technology for distance learning has been around for a long time, but for sign

languages, the technology is only just approaching the point at which it is viable to teach a visual

language online. The funding provided by the Department of Community Services will allow the Deaf

Society to build, pilot, and refine distance education using the best in online delivery. 

“We hope this course will be a positive step towards a more accessible community for Deaf people in the

Hunter region,” says Colin Allen. “It could be the beginning of a new era in sign language training for the

whole of NSW.” 

The announcement of this project comes at an auspicious time, with the National Week of Deaf People

running last week from 9 to 15 October. 

Further information and appointments for interviews can be obtained from The Deaf Society of New

South Wales by telephoning (02) 8833 3600.  



The Deaf Society of NSW  -  ABN:  21 952 195 236

Sharon Everson, CEO      (02) 8833 3600      severson@deafsociety.com


18 October 2010

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