Date published: 
17 June 2020
Media type: 
Media release
Audience: 
General public

A free sign language interpreting service will soon be available for senior Australians who are deaf, deafblind or hard of hearing.

The service will provide appropriate sign language assistance to people who are receiving or want to access aged care services.

Starting this month, it will be available to improve interactions with My Aged Care, aged care assessors, service providers and related organisations.

Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians, Richard Colbeck, said Auslan Connections would deliver the service ensuring those in need would receive much-needed support.

“This comprehensive new sign language interpreting service will make our aged care system far more accessible for people who are deaf, deafblind or hard of hearing,” Minister Colbeck said.

“It will ensure that these people can participate in the assessment, planning, and review of their care – something which may have been more difficult in the past.”

Auslan Connections has more than 100 years’ experience with the Australian deaf community and has provided interpreting and translation services to Commonwealth and State governments.

Certified interpreters will be able to provide Auslan, American Sign Language, International Sign Language, signed English for deaf consumers, tactile signing and hand-over-hand for deafblind users.

Both face-to-face and online interpreting, including on-demand video remote interpreting, will be on offer nationally, seven days a week and after business hours when required.

The Federal Government will continue to work with the Deaf community on specific policy matters, ensuring adequate access to interpreting services. 

Bookings for the sign language service can be made online or by phone, email, or fax.

Minister Colbeck said the Government would also commission translation of key aged care documents and information into Auslan videos and other materials that are suitable for people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

“This is another step towards ensuring the needs of Senior Australians are met,” Minister Colbeck said.

For more information please contact Auslan Connections on 1300 010 877 or visit the Auslan Connections website.

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