Early Intervention and Education

Deaf Australia advocates that all Deaf and hard of hearing people should have access to both English (spoken and written) and Auslan from the time deafness is identified, in early intervention and consistently throughout all levels of education.


Policy on NAPLAN for Deaf People in Australia

Deaf Australia has prepared a policy advice paper for the Department of Social Services regarding deaf children and the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) process.

We believe there are significant gaps and opportunities for deaf children undertaking NAPLAN as equally as others. This issue has been discussed within the deaf sector for a long time, which indicates significant concerns shared by deaf members of the sector, their parents and teachers of the deaf.

Download a copy (PDF 650KB)

Early Intervention and Education Working Group

Deaf Australia is setting up a new Working Group to focus on early intervention and school education. Representatives from relevant organisations have been invited to join the working group. A call for expressions of interest for two independent community representatives has been distributed. The Working Group will hold its first meeting on 6 March 2014.


Submission to the House Standing Committee on Education and  Employment on the Inquiry into the role of Technical and Further Education system and its operation 2013

Deaf Australia sent a submission to this Inquiry in April 2013 and gave evidence to a public hearing of the committee on 7 June 2013.

Download a copy of the document (PDF 313KB)

With the change of government in September 2013, this Inquiry lapsed. In December 2013, the Senate referred the inquiry into technical and further education in Australia to the Senate Education and Employment References Committee, due to report in May 2014. This Inquiry will consider submissions and evidence given to the 2013 Inquiry.


Report of the national summit on early intervention and education, 2012

Deaf Australia held a national summit on early intervention and education for Deaf and hard of hearing Children in Canberra on 29 and 30 November 2012 to give the community an opportunity to be heard on these vital issues.

While politicians, academics and educators made an important contribution and provided informative presentations, the primary purpose was to hear from people at the coal face, on the lived experience of early intervention and school education. We asked participants to consider four basic questions:

  1. What has worked for you?
  2. What has not worked?
  3. What needs to change?
  4. What can we do to help make this change happen?
Download a copy of the report (PDF 3.5MB)
See the documentary video:


Early Intervention Working Group (Qld)

Deaf Australia has a representative on the Brisbane based Early Intervention Working Group. This is a group of early intervention practitioners, educators, health and family services, parents and Deaf Australia. This group is currently working on developing early intervention protocols that are inclusive of all approaches.


Early Intervention Policy Advice to the Australian Government

Early Intervention for children who are Deaf or hard of hearing is a vital but vexed issue. It is vital that these children are able to acquire a language to native fluency within the early language learning years and that their families are able to communicate effectively with them.

Deaf Australia is currently campaigning for the provision of bilingual early intervention programs nationally. Such programs should place equal value on both Auslan and English, should include access to both speech/listening therapy and Auslan, and provide support programs for parents and immediate family members.

This policy advice paper discusses the issues involved in early intervention and the changes that are needed in Australia.

Download a copy of the policy document (PDF 227KB)