The Deaf Friendly Scheme

the Deaf Friendly SchemeThe Deaf Friendly Scheme

… Deaf Australia’s tick of approval for organisations that employ deaf people and are accessible to deaf people

At our AGM, on 22 November 2014, Deaf Australia introduced a new system for combining Deaf Australia membership with a unique system for businesses and organisations that are accessible and ‘friendly’ to the deaf community to be recognised. Deaf people will also be able to use this as a simple way to find business that they will be able to easily use in their everyday lives.

Now, Deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing people with Auslan skills will be able to use their membership to assist their business or employer to get accreditation with the Deaf Friendly Scheme: a deaf tick of approval that can be used Australia-wide!

Here is how it works:

Mike the plumber
Mark, a Deaf man from Melbourne, wants to become a member of Deaf Australia to support their valuable advocacy work, so he goes to to sign up and pay his membership fee.

Mark works for ABC Hot Water Services as a plumber. Instead of signing up for just a Deaf Australia membership, he chooses to sign up for a Deaf Friendly Membership (which includes the standard Deaf Australia Membership) and includes the contact details for his work.

Deaf Australia makes a time with Mark to check his Auslan skills and he passes easily because he has been signing since he was a little boy.

ABC-hot-water-servicesDeaf Australia contacts ABC Hot Water Services to ask if they would like to be a part of the Deaf Friendly scheme.

They say yes and pay a subscription fee.

ABC Hot Water Services is listed on the Deaf Friendly Business Directory and they receive other benefits too.

Sarah needs a plumber
Sarah, a Deaf woman from Melbourne wants a new hot water system.

She goes to the Deaf Friendly Business Directory and looks for a plumber in her area. She sees ABC Hot Water Services has a Deaf plumber so she contacts them to book a time for Mark to give her a quote.

Sarah feels comfortable with Mark because she can easily understand him and the new hot water tank gets installed easily with no communication problems.

ABC Hot Water Services gets more work because of the advertising on the Directory.

Mark’s job is more secure because the business is doing well.

Deaf Australia is also happy because they can use the subscription fee from the business to keep advocating for Deaf people.


Benefits for Deaf people:

  • An easy way for Deaf people to find businesses and organisations in their local area that have deaf or Auslan-fluent staff.
  • A great way for deaf or Auslan-fluent people to be recognised by their employer as providing extra valuable communication skills in their organisation
  • Helping support Deaf Australia to support the Deaf community.

Benefits for businesses:

  • Business growth through more Deaf and hard of hearing people learning about and using their organisations through the Deaf Friendly Directory.
  • Helping support Deaf Australia to support the Deaf community.

Benefits for Deaf Australia:

This source of income allows Deaf Australia to keep advocating for Deaf people with governments, services providers and in the community.

With changes to government funding, Deaf Australia needs to find ways to raise funds to continue our important work and keep advocating for deaf people’s rights.

We think it is very important for deaf people to have a voice in government policy and decision-making, as well as support when negotiating or making a complaint to services or service providers.

By supporting Deaf Australia’s Deaf Friendly scheme, you also support deaf people all across Australia!

You can help too by donating to Deaf Australia – donations are tax-deductible.

Go to The Deaf Friendly Scheme website now