Date published: 
26 November 2020
Type: 
Subscriber announcement
Intended audience: 
Health sector

From November 2020, older Australians who are deaf, deafblind, or hard of hearing, and who do not have access to interpreting services through aged care programs or the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), can access free sign language interpreting services for daily activities such as:

  • family/social events
  • banking
  • moving/selling house
  • dealing with agencies/advisors etc.

These services are available face-to-face and by video remote.
Sign language services for deaf consumers or consumers who are hard of hearing are available in:

  • Auslan
  • American Sign Language
  • International Sign Language
  • Signed English

Tactile signing and hand over hand interpreting is available for deafblind consumers.

Access these services

Bookings can be made via the Auslan Connections website or by calling 1300 010 877.

Alternatively, clients can:

  • Go in to any Deaf Society to organise a booking
  • Use the NRS / VRS - NRS then calls the Auslan Connections office on 1300 010 877
  • SMS - 0407 647 591 for QLD, NSW, ACT & NT / 0438 723 342 for VIC, SA, WA & TAS.
  • Arrange anyone to call Auslan Connections to make a booking on the client's behalf (support worker, family, friends etc.)
  • Send a letter if there is no other way of arranging an appointment: 915 Ipswich Road, Moorooka QLD 4105

Further information

Each client can access an average of 40 hours of interpreting services per year. Over the next six months usage will be monitored. A cap may be applied in the 2021-22 financial year.

Deaf or hard of hearing clients who are over 65 won't be required to receive an aged care assessment if they are seeking to access interpreting services.

This new arrangement is in addition to the sign language interpreting services for older Australians who are receiving or want to access aged care services, as announcedby the Minister on 17 June 2020.

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