Category: National Week of Deaf People (NWDP)


2023 Collin Allen Lecture Series Nominations are now open!


We are excited to announce the Colin Allen AM Lecture 2023 is now open for nominations. Why this lecture? It’s an opportunity for the deaf community to present on the themes that are important to the Deaf community. We have different themes:

  1. Deaf Community (national and international)
  2. Human rights
  3. Sign language rights
  4. International Development
  5. Deaf Theatre

More information is available on the DA website.

This is a great opportunity to nominate a deaf person to present at the National Week of Deaf People (NWDP).

We have had few lectures in the past. Last year we had:

  • Marnie Kerridge (MK) presented on Why Deaf schools need to be valued)

Past lectures:

  • Caroline Colon (sign name) – Deaf Theatre: Yesterday, Today … Tomorrow?
  • Colin Allen - ‘Colin Allen – the individual, - identity, influence and insight.

When nominating someone – please make sure you get their approval before you make the nomination on Deaf Australia’s website.

Head to our website for more information and to nominate – Nominations close on 30th June.

Visual Description

Visual description cover slide: Graphic features white text on a dark blue background. In the background there is a repeating painted portrait of Colin Allen AM. At the top center there is a white Deaf Australia logo. Beneath that reads: "The Colin Allen AM Lecture. Nominations Now Open, Deadline 30 June 2023. Learn more: www.deafaustralia.org.au/the-colin-allen-am-lecture"
Visual description vieo: Debra Swann is a woman with light skin tone and she is standing against a beige background, wearing a black short-sleeved blouse. She has shoulder length brown and white hair and is wearing clear-framed glasses. She signing in a friendly and encouraging manner towards the camera.
Visual description end slide: Cover slide repeats. Then end slide appears with Deaf Australia general information. Graphic image features white text on a blue and green gradient background. Deaf Australia logo is in white at the top followed by text that reads: "Deaf Australia is a Deaf-lef advocacy and information organisation in Australia representing all Deaf, Deafblind, hard-of-hearing people and others who use Auslan (Australian Sign Language) as their language of preference. Contact us [email icon] [email protected] [website icon] www.deafaustralia.org.au [Instagram and Twitter icon] @deafaustralia [Facebook icon] @DeafAustraliaInc"

Deaf Ecosystem Vodcast: Sharon & Anna-Louise on being Deaf business owners



Okay, I started my business in 2020 on February. I realised that it was time to start up the business after many years of working. I realised that I needed to show leadership for example, Deaf people can be leaders, Deaf people can be their own bosses, Deaf people can support other Deaf people. We can be the trainers as we are already experts in the field, we are born Deaf, we know what we are talking about! So why is it not possible to be trainers, be leaders, be empowering, be innovative!  

I provide support work services, translating services, mentoring services and consulting services especially with parents. I often talk from my own personal experience advising parents not to do what my parents did, but to do things that we all prefer as Deaf people as we all know what it is like to be Deaf. It is important to use us & our knowledge – hence the reason why I have set up my own business.  

So all these are the reasons why I have set up my business. 

Sharon: Wow!  

Anna-Louise:  I have been doing this for two and half years now and the business is still going strong. What about you, Sharon? 

Sharon:  Actually, very similar to you. My business is still in its infancy, it was established in 2018 so it’s been four years now. What I do is similar to your work, my reasons why I established the business are very similar to yours as I noticed that there were gaps in the Deaf community when it came to support work services. I was seeing a lot of hearing organisations taking over opportunities thinking that they knew what was best. I felt frustrated to see Auslan being dismissed; I was seeing a lot of families with Deaf children were choosing speech focus, not having the option to learn Auslan. I started to see a decline in children with their 

Anna-Louise: Yes, declining..  

Sharon:  language development. So I started to teach sign language with those children and noticed a huge benefit. How I started was actually a little bit of a sad story, I used to work in employment services for many years. 

Anna-Louise: Same here. 

Sharon:  For around 20 years. My last job was with a huge company and unfortunately my employer was very discriminatory against me, because I was Deaf.  

Anna-Louise: *nodding head* that’s common! 

Sharon:  So I actually left my job, and I needed counselling. It was the first time in my life that I felt ashamed to be Deaf. It threw me off, mentally and emotionally. It was through the break in between jobs, that the Deaf community supported me, they knew what was happening.  

Anna-Louise: *nodding head* your people 

Sharon:  They also knew that I had experience in the employment field, so I started helping with CV’s, cover letters and job applications. I started to be busy again and realised that there was a huge gap in that area where Deaf people couldn’t just go to any disability employment service provider due to the communication breakdowns. 

 Anna-Louise: and limitations in communication.  

 Sharon: What about you? 

Very similar to you, I forgot to add before that I had a business partner and we had this vision plan to teach Auslan, empowering Deaf people but then COVID-19 hit and we didn’t expect that. So we didn’t start off well with Auslan teaching as we had to adapt to different ways such as using Zoom. We had to change our vision, my business partner started to teach Auslan online but realised that many people didn’t know how to set up Zoom on their end. So that meant they needed support so we split up the business and she set up Auslan teaching and I set up support services.  

My services were in high demand, being booked out and I couldn’t attend to every client and I needed help by employing other staff and they had their role within the business and the business started to grow from there, providing support work and that wasn’t expected! My business partner didn’t want to do support work, it wasn’t something they wanted to do. They preferred to teach Auslan only and they taught in TAFE and university.  

Sharon: Their passion, their strengths. 

Anna-Louise:  Yes, following her passion. I was happy for her. From there, the business grew so quickly with only providing support work, with very little Auslan teaching. I have one or two staff who teach Auslan. Also our business grew in the aged care field. There wasn’t enough…  

Sharon: That’s a big gap. 

Anna-Louise:  people. Yes, its hard work seeing older Deaf people not being able to do things or they are very lonely. People feel very emotional working in that area, there is not enough education to let Deaf people know that they can go to Aged care homes and visit Deaf people there or who provides that service?! There’s no one out there! In Victoria that is, where I am. Covid….  

Sharon: I wanted to ask, is there NDIS for people over 65 years of age?   

Anna-Louise: No,  

Sharon: so its through My Aged Care? 

Anna-Louise:  through hospitals and yes, that (My Aged Care). So, hospitals started to book us, that’s how we grew and they tell us that we provide fantastic services. The older clients put a lot of compliments for our services and we have established a good relationship with hospitals who have said that we provide excellent services. That’s what caused our business to grow.  

Sharon: Great for older people to have access to their language which is Auslan.  

Anna-Louise: I find that when people ask me how many staff I have, I always ask if that question can be changed – how many Deaf staff do I have?  

Sharon: *nodding head* 

Anna-Louise: Many people assume that I have more hearing staff and my answer is always no. I only have one hearing staff, the rest are Deaf. I often get shocked reactions. 

Sharon: Wow, that’s good! 

Anna-Louise: total shock, as they are not used to seeing the number of Deaf staff in a team. That’s why I have set up my business, to encourage more Deaf employees.  

Sharon: Rally interesting, I remember my family, who are mostly hearing, I have one brother who is also Deaf, actually thought I had a hobby! It was really interesting. 

Anna-Louise: Same! 

Sharon: They actually.. 

Anna-Louise: Hearing culture, not used to see Deaf people having their own businesses. People with disabilities cant!  

Sharon: Yes, when I started to work from home, people would interrupt me when I was working online. They don’t realise, still even today!  

Anna-Louise: *head nodding* still the same! 

Sharon: Actually recently in the newspaper, well yesterday in the newspaper.  

Anna-Louise: Well done! I saw that article, wow! 

Sharon: Thank you! I am excited, very honoured 

Anna-Louise: An award for your business, wow! 

Sharon: Really excited, we were nominated in the local business awards. Actually its this one *pointing to an award from behind* 

Anna-Louise: *hand applause* 

Sharon: We are finalists, we haven’t won the award yet. We don’t know yet. 

Anna-Louise: Still, the nomination itself is an acknowledgement of your hard work. 

Sharon: We have the business… absolutely, very honoured to be a finalist. Its actually funny as my father saw the newspaper article. He is 80 years old. 

Anna-Louise: Aww! 

Sharon: yes, aww! 

Anna-Louise: Reading the newspaper is old school! 

Sharon: He read the article and said that I had a lot of people in my team. He asked me if that the team was mine? My business?  

Anna-Louise: you pay these people!? Really? 

Sharon: Yes! It was really interesting, I feel that a lot of hearing people…..  

Anna-Louise: shocked  

Sharon: they don’t realise that we can do it! 

If you could go back to 2020 and you had the chance to start the business all over again, what would you do differently? Do you feel that you would have done it the same way or make some changes?  

Anna-Louise:  I think it would be the confidence, do not have that doubt. To be confident. A lot of people told me that I needed to study in business, I told them to shut up. 

Sharon: Yay! 

Anna-Louise: We are not analysing how many cars we are selling, how many tyres we need to sell, all that logistics of finding factories to supply etc. It is a different thing - this business is Deaf-led from a Deaf approach. Sorry but we need to tell them mind their own business! We are following the reasons why we have set up the business, following our gut instinct and our hearts.  

Sharon: yes, I agree.  

Anna-Louise: So its confidence in that belief. I had that doubt for nearly a year, I felt not confident and I felt upset that I had made the wrong decision to quit my job and was it the right decision to start my business. I shouldn’t have wasted that time, doubting myself! I could have set up the business better without that doubt; making better decisions from the get go. Hiring the right people, I had some telling me that that person wasn’t right for that job, I had to tell them that these people needed a second chance. They had hearing people control them in the past and hearing people trained them when they had different approaches, ways and values to them. I told them that they are Deaf,  you already know it and that they had the instinct. I gave a lot of opportunities to the Deaf staff that I hired; I didn’t take notice of their CV’s. Instead, I allowed them to tell me what they could do, when previously I would be following what I read on their CV’s and their lack of qualifications. But really, they can do it.   

I wish I followed that method more in the beginning. Is it the same for you? 

Sharon:  Um, I remember when I was thinking about starting my business; I had some people coming up to me saying that I needed to have meetings with them first.  

Anna-Louise: *head nodding* 

Sharon: I sat down with one person, I think what was like an all-day thing just talking  

Anna-Louise: Wasting your time! 

Sharon: about what? A business plan!  

Anna-Louise: No?!  

Sharon: I realised later that I didn’t need a business plan 

Anna-Louise: throw it out of the window! 

Sharon: Because a business plan is good only if you need a bank loan, to explain my vision for the business, eg how many staff will I have, how much money I will create etc. Really, to start this kind of business, you don’t need to do that. 

 Anna-Louise: It just happens over time. 

Sharon: When I started my business, I would later realise that I needed to add specific services or make changes to existing services  

Anna-Louise: evolving, yes 

Sharon: It was always changing, so a business plan if you want a loan or have  

Anna-Louise: loans or investors 

Sharon: yes, investor to support the business. It is different. So I think it’s important, well I think it was a waste of time for me really. 

Anna-Louise: Yes, same as you and its something like 50 pages long and it wasn’t even relevant to this business at all!  

Sharon: So, yeah.. 

Anna-Louise: People were worried! 

Sharon: I think for anyone who were thinking of starting a business, to really think about why they need a business plan. A business plan is good if you what to show such as applying for tenders or something like that. So really need to think carefully about the purpose of a business plan. 

Anna-Louise: That can come later, not really needed for the beginning.  

Sharon: Yep, later. 

Anna-Louise:  You start with your passion, following helping people. Well, it all depends on your business and what it is, I think with my business, I am following my passion; my superpower where I feel that I can help people and that grew from there into what it is today. If you didn’t have that passion, you can’t work seven days a week, you can’t work long hours, it will fail.  

Sharon:  Yeah, its not easy. So now when I go to different workplaces for Deafness Awareness Training, I make them fit in with the Deaf world because I am little bit over having to try and fit into hearing workplaces. Why isn’t it the other way around, to fit in with the Deaf employee? It’s time that workplaces start accepting the differences, for example Deaf staff to feel that they can email in their own ways, not in formal English. They need to work out the email; they can find a way to communicate with them. The Deaf staff need to be allowed to be themselves not having to use EAF to have the email corrected for the hearing workplace. I strongly encourage workplace to reflect on how they can make the workplace a better environment for the Deaf staff.  

Anna-Louise:  I find it very difficult to try and promote my business, it is a struggle to try and reach out to let people know that I am available and I am here to support. I find that I am stuck, however I am lucky that word of mouth gets out that I provide a good service, that I help people and that I care about people. The feedback is great, that the clients are happy with the services. I am now trying to work on my weakness which is marketing, especially on social media like Facebook and Instagram. Hopefully a website soon, but I find it difficult to film myself, I get embarrassed! I know that Deaf people don’t like to read a lot of English so I am trying to make sure that my website is different. What about you? 

Sharon: I understand how you feel, I don’t like to film myself too. But my staff wont, so I have to do it! 

Anna-Louise: Same! Oh no! 

Sharon: I have to tell them that they have to be filmed! Come on!  

Anna-Louise:  Not feeling comfortable in front of the camera and saying what needs to be said is difficult! I know everything, I know all the words, I know my own business and what we provide!  But when the camera is on, I get stuck!  

Sharon:  Yeah! Yeah. Also I don’t want the business to be about me but my team. It’s all of us, not just me! So I am trying to encourage my staff to show their faces a little bit more. I went through a very difficult time from the previous job so I was very slow in starting up the business. I didn’t want to promote too much, I only wanted to focus on a small amount of clients and build on from that, especially with my confidence. I had a Facebook page but that was the time when my confidence was at its lowest. I recall having a Facebook page but it wasn’t active as I was nervous.  

Anna-Louise: Click “post” and put it out there online! 

Sharon: I doubted myself a lot, I knew I wasn’t ready. My counsellor pushed me to start getting the business out there, telling me that I could do it. When the time came to be online, the response was actually amazing, the Deaf community gave their full support. 

Anna-Louise: Beautiful!  

Sharon:  It gave me the confidence, I am so grateful to have an amazing Deaf community behind me. It’s been really lovely to see people supporting each other.  So we started being online, it was a slow process as I wanted to focus on the clients that I had already. In the second year of business, it started to get busier and I didn’t really promote my business. I didn’t have a Facebook page until the third year of business before we even had the website set up. It was only because I started to work with Government organisations providing Deafness Awareness Training and they preferred to see my services through a website. So we were a bit forced to set up the website. 

Anna-Louise: A shove to the head! 

Sharon: It needed to look like a legitimate company. So we set up that.  

Anna-Louise:  Hey, funny because three to four years ago, you didn’t need a website for the business but now you needed one to prove that you do provide these services. Sometimes it feels like, hang on, give us a moment, we are still trying to catch up with the whole process of having a business such as learning about tax, training staff, establishing contracts, invoicing systems and so much more and then there’s the website on top of all that! 

Sharon: I needed to watch YouTube videos to teach me how to do invoices!  

Anna-Louise: Same!  

Sharon: I remember being frustrated trying to learn from scratch, but I am grateful that I did that even though I have staff to do this but I know how, especially if that staff left.  

Anna-Louise: Foundations 

Sharon: I had a staff that was away on holidays to Turkey for one month, fortunately I knew how to do their job. I have a staff member, who looks after our marketing side of things,  

Anna-Louise: Beautiful  

Sharon: For a few years, it was just me and I didn’t have time to focus on that. So now I have a marketing officer who looks after that. The only disadvantage is that she posts things about me! I have to tell her no! Its more about them, out there! But I know it’s nice to have that, people want to see positive stories, see inspirational videos of kids signing so it’s good for people out there to have access to that.  

Anna-Louise: Some Deaf people are asking me if that I felt big Deaf organisations are our competition? I always say, no because their services have different values to mine, not personal, hearing led by hearing directors, all services provide differently. I think we both are community centric based, we know our client’s stories, we have this personal touch as we know their names, when we meet with them we know who they are straight away. I feel that is respectful and valuable, do you feel that is the same in Sydney? 

Sharon: Yes, definitely.  I am always mindful of NDIS and their vision that the clients have choice and control. I always keep that in mind, when we are unable to provide the right services or our services is not a match but I will still help connect them with another Deaf led business. Yesterday, I had a client who contacted me wanting support work and my business does not provide that yet so I referred them to another Deaf organisation who could provide that. I think we need a more variety of Deaf led services, competition can be healthy. 

Anna-Louise: Yep! 

Sharon: Previously there would be just one Deaf organisation 

Anna-Louise: One that controlled everything 

Sharon: which meant they had the control. They didn’t follow what the client wanted, the organisations did what they wanted  

Anna-Louise: The client didn’t have options, now there are options!  

Sharon: The clients were stuck. It all means now, that I could join a bank and decide that I didn’t want to use that bank but join another bank but I could always go back to the other bank later.  I think that it is good that way as it helps me realise what was provided well before with the other bank, makes me appreciate the services that they provided so I would return in the future. It helped me learn about each bank and their services. So that’s why I think its good to have healthy competition to support each other.  

 Anna-Louise: Speaking of competition, it helps me improve my service and its delivery and vice versa. The Deaf client benefits from it all! 

Sharon: Exactly!  

Anna-Louise: I think its fantastic, that’s why I am not worried. The future? I hope to see more Deaf leaders, so we can learn new skills from them. We can be part of that community, leaders in the Deaf Auslan community. Maybe we can see some kind of Deaf Oscars, who has the best business,  

Sharon: Why not!!  

Anna-Louise: Who has the best Auslan business? 

Sharon: We can collaborate on that, to set it up! Why not!? 

I was watching something on a Deaf organisation page recently, talking about the power of speech. It was about a girl who was presenting about her experience with cochlear implant. Everyone commented on how she spoke well, congratulating her on that accomplishment. That made me feel sad,  

Anna-Louise: too focused on that. 

Sharon:  because we have the power to use our voice as well. Maybe my speech is not perfect, but that should not identify who we are. It would be nice to see people encouraging others to use their voice regardless of how it is spoken or signed 

Anna-Louise: Auslan voice or speech voice 

Sharon:  So the future, I would like to see children being free to either speak or sign not having to choose one pathway only. Getting accolades if they speak only, why aren’t children being accolated if they sign well!? Being told that they are amazing for learning Auslan as a language, as its more challenging for them to learn because teachers don’t use Auslan in schools, Auslan isn’t broadcasted on TV, they have had to learn both languages at the same time – I think its amazing that they use their voice in different situations. So it would be nice to see in the future, where one can go to mainstream coffee shop and the barista can sign, see parents who have a Deaf baby using both languages. It’s a bit like when I went to school and I studied subjects such as English, Maths and Science, what if they removed Art. That would cause uproar as I love Art! So it’s a metaphor for parents who have a Deaf baby to choose speech therapy, cochlear implants, hearing aids etc, what about Auslan? It would be nice to see that option, maybe the parents will choose not to have that option which is fine. It is important that the option is there for the family to choose.  

Anna-Louise: Aunts and uncles 

Sharon: So in the future, more awareness about Auslan.  

Anna-Louise: Also I think in the future, the parents will know that their child can do anything as we have more Deaf role models – we are here! The Deaf child can do anything, no matter what barriers once they set their mind to achieve whatever following their passion.  

Sharon: I feel.. 

Anna-Louise: At the moment parents feel that their Deaf child does not have a future, unsure what the future holds for them. Can they be a plumber? That’s why when I try… well at the moment here at home there are renovations and when hearing parents call me and they ask me how I communicate with the electrician. I tell them that he’s Deaf, and that surprises the parents! So I introduce the Deaf electrician to the hearing parents, and explain that Deaf people can be plumbers, painters or whatever. Recently I had some parents who were shocked to find out that I wasn’t hearing! They thought I was using Auslan with them to make them learn quicker! I would like to see in the future, that this becomes the norm, more acceptance and understanding knowing that their Deaf child can do anything! Just like boys and girls can do anything equally. 

Sharon: Yes, exactly! That’s the dream I also have.  

Anna-Louise: *head nodding* 

Sharon: Well….   




NWDP 2018 Events

National Week of Deaf People 2018 Activities and Events

All activities listed here are all registered through Deaf Australia. There may be other activities that is happening around Australia and we do not have this information. Activities may be subjected to change, please regularly check websites for updates.
21 September 6pm – 9pm. 
Wine Cheese Night
Ephpheta Centre, 4 Turner Street, Punchbowl, NSW.
RSVP required
Download Flyer here
23 – 29 September – 9am – 5pm (Daily) 
‘Healsville Sanctuary Celebrates National Week of Deaf People’
at Healsville Santuary, Badger Creek Road, Badger Creek, Victoria 3777.
Auslan interpreter will be onsite at Healesville Santucary between 11am and 3pm each day.
Website Link
23 September (5 events) 
Deaf Market (10am – 3pm)
Front Oval, Deaf Children Australia
597 St Kilda Road, Melbourne Victoria
Download Flyer here
Adelaide Celebration (10am – 12 noon) 
University of South Australia
Jeffery Smart Building, Level 1, Hindley Street, Adelaide, South Australia
For catering purpose, please RSVP
Download Flyer here
Deaf Community BBQ (11am – 4pm) 
South Australian Museum Front Lawns
North Terrace, Adelaide, South Australia
Download Flyer here
Auslan Guided Tours (11.30am, 1.30pm and 2.30pm)
South Australian Museum
North Terrace, Adelaide, South Australia
Tours have limited spaces available per sessions, register for a tour when arrive.
Download Flyer here
Family Picnic Day (10 am – 3pm) 
Jo Whearley All Abilities Play Space
Esplande, Dalkeith, Western Australia
Free admission, BYO – BBQ
Download Flyer here
25 September 
Professional Evening with Dr Paddy Ladd (6pm – 8pm) 
University of Western Australia
Alexander Lecture Theatre
Admission fee applies
Download Flyer here
27 September (2 events) 
The Silent Child (Open – Captioned), followed by Deaf Awareness (4.30pm – 6.00pm)
Mirboo North Library
Ridgeway, Mirboo North, Victoria 3871
Free – booking essential
Download Flyer here
Alpha (Open – Captioned) (6pm for 7 pm start) 
Hoyts Carousel
1382 Albany Highway, Cannington, Western Australia
Admission fee applies
Download Flyer here
28 September 
May the Best Team Win! (6.30pm – 10.30pm) 
Tuart Hill Community Centre
164 Cape Street, Tuart Hill, Western Australia
Admission fee applies
Download Flyer here
29 September 
Bindi Bindi Dreaming Workshop (10am – 1pm) 
Tuart Hill Community Centre
164 Cape Street, Tuart Hill, Western Australia
Admission fee applies
Additional information here

**Media Release** International Day of Sign Language formally adopted by UN and announcement of National Week of Deaf People 2018

Deaf Australia wishes to congratulate the United Nations in adopting the resolution for the International Day of Sign Languages today at the 72nd United Nations General Assembly.

International Day of Sign Languages will be held on 23 September annually.
The World Federation of the Deaf, which Deaf Australia is a National Member, have sought support from Antigua and Barbuda who proposed this resolution. The resolution was co-sponsored by 97 United Nations Members States (including Australia) and adopted by consensus.
Why International Day of Sign Languages?
The aim of International Day of Sign Languages is to raise greater awareness and recognition of sign languages, and that early access to sign language and services in sign language, including quality education, is vital to the growth and development of deaf individual and critical to the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals.
Why 23 September?
This is the date that commemorate the establishment of World Federation of the Deaf in 1951, which has as one of main goals, the preservation of sign languages and deaf culture as pre-requisites to the realisation of the human rights of deaf people.
What is Australia’s Sign Language?
The sign language of Australia is known as Auslan (Australian Sign Language).  Auslan has been recognised by the Federal Government as a community language of Australia in 1991.
How can Australia be Involved?
The National Week of Deaf People (NWDP) is hosted by Deaf Australia and provides many organisations, schools and others the opportunity to raise awareness of deaf people and Auslan. Traditionally, we host this event during October, however in recognition of the establishment of the International Day of Sign Languages, the NWDP will be moved to coincide with the International Day of Sign Languages.
When is the next National Week of Deaf People?
National Week of Deaf People will be on 23 – 29 September 2018. In the following years Deaf Australia hopes to align the National Week of Deaf People with the International Week of Deaf hosted by the World Federation of the Deaf, traditionally held during the last week of September.
What activity can be held during the National Week of Deaf People?
State organisations and other community organisations, clubs, schools and others host a wide range of activities through the week including workshops and lessons where people can learn Auslan, other workshops and presentations about deaf people and their community, community festivals, fundraising activities, and many more.
To find out more about these activities, please check for registered activities on Deaf Australia’s website.
If an organisation wishes to provide activities through the week and to promote to the deaf community, you can register the event on Deaf Australia’s website.
Deaf Australia will be working with the government, business and organisations to help promote the National Week of Deaf People and the International Day of Sign Languages.
Please view here to see Auslan Translation of Media Release.
United Nations’ Resolution: A/C.3/72/L.36/Rev.1
World Federation of the Deaf Press Release: Press Release
National Week of Deaf People: www.deafaustralia.org.au/NWDP

NWDP 2016 – With Auslan, I am equal


Deaf Australia launched the National Week of Deaf People (NWDP) at the National Auslan Conference in Melbourne during the recent weekend, and there will be lots of activities organised by various organisations, clubs and individuals throughout the week.

The theme for the Week is: With Auslan, I am Equal.
The theme will be focusing on:

  • Birth Rights: deaf children to access and acquire Auslan as their first language;
  • Deaf Identity: deaf people are a cultural and linguistic minority who use Auslan as their primary or preferred language;
  • Accessibility: deaf people need access to public information and services through Auslan;
  • Equal Language: recognising Auslan as a language equal to spoken/ written languages;
  • Equal Employment Opportunity: removing the barriers where hearing is a requirement and promoting greater inclusion and opportunities for deaf people to realise their goals;
  • Bilingual Education: accepting the need for bilingual education for deaf children (Auslan and English), and for teachers and interpreters to be fully accessible;
  • Equal Participation: deaf people to be able to fully participate in the personal, public and political along with everyone else; and
  • Lifelong Learning: access to education, training and ongoing professional development is the key to gaining and retaining a job and being able to make a reasonable living.

Last week, the members of Deaf Australia have overwhelmingly endorsed a new Position Statement on the Requirements for Early Intervention for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children in AustraliaYou can download it here.
Deaf Australia also launched the ‘Colin Allen Lecture’ which will be an annual award recognising individuals who promotes the right of deaf people in all walks of life, continuing Colin Allen’s legacy in politics, advocacy, community, international development, sports and/ or theatre.
The Australian Curriculum has submitted the National Auslan Curriculum for publication approval, which will include Auslan as one of the language curricula available for K to year 10. The National Auslan curriculum is expected to be in effect from 2017.
Australian Consumers Communication Actions Network (ACCAN) launched their Auslan Translation Standards and Production Guidelines for producing Auslan content videos at the recent National Auslan Conference.
However, our society still does not treat deaf people equally.
On 5 October 2016, the Australian High Court (Lyons v. Queensland) found that in its present interpretation of the Jury Act, the Queensland State did not discriminate against Ms. Lyons by refusing to provide Auslan interpreters to enable her to undertake her civic duty as a juror. The Jury Act needs to be changed.
As summer is quickly approaching, deaf people will need access to emergency announcements. For deaf people, the best way to get information is through Auslan.  All emergency announcements need to be made accessible in Auslan nationally.
Significant numbers of deaf children around Australia do not have full access to Auslan in schools.  Deaf children need full access to Auslan for their education.
These are some examples of things that need to change in order to realise deaf people’s capacity to be equal.
With Auslan, I am Equal.

National Week of Deaf People 2016 (15 – 23 October 2016)

With Auslan, I am Equal
Each year, starting on 3rd weekend of October, Deaf Australia and the deaf community in Australia celebrate National Week of Deaf People (NWDP).
Deaf Australia will be launching the NWDP at the National Auslan Conference in Melbourne and there will be heaps of activities organised by various organisations, clubs and individual throughout the week. If you wish to register your event/ activities, please register here.
Throughout the week, Deaf Australia will be posting key messages on our Facebook/ Twitter to raise awareness of the NWDP. You can help by re-posting Facebook messages and re-tweeting our messages.
We will be focusing on

  • Birth Rights: deaf children to access and acquire Auslan as their first language;
  • Deaf Identity: deaf people are a cultural and linguistic minority who use Auslan as their primary language;
  • Accessibility: deaf people need access to public information and services through Auslan;
  • Equal Language: recognising Auslan as an equal language as other spoken/ written languages;
  • Equal Employment Opportunity: removing the barriers where hearing is a requirement and to promote greater inclusion and opportunities for deaf people to realise their dreams;
  • Bilingual Education: accepting the need for bilingual education for deaf children (Auslan and English), and for teachers and interpreters to be fully accessible;
  • Equal Participation: deaf people to be able to fully participate in the personal, public and political areas along with everyone else; and
  • Lifelong Learning: access to education, training and ongoing professional development is the key to gaining and retaining a job and to be able to make a living. 

The theme is an adaption of the theme for the World Federation of the Deaf International Week of Deaf People, which is ‘With Sign Language, I am Equal’, beginning today.
You can help by joining the campaign by organising or being involved with NWDP activities in your local area. We have included the NWDP Info Kit 2016 for your use as a resource. This toolkit can be used by anyone in Australia to help promote awareness of Deaf people and Auslan.
With Auslan, I am Equal.
[minimal_icon style=”download” url=”https://deafaustralia.org.au/wp-content/uploads/National-Week-of-Deaf-People-info-kit-final.pdf” target=”_self” lightbox_content=”” lightbox_description=””]Download the NWDP 2016 Toolkit here.[/minimal_icon]

NWDP event registrations CLOSING SOON!

Have you got your National Week of Deaf People events registered yet? If not, you need to hurry! Registrations close on Friday 26 September 2014.

If you haven’t registered yet, start thinking now about the types of things you could do to celebrate Deaf people, culture and community. In previous years, Deaf people and organisations have run all sorts of events during NWDP to raise awareness about the Deaf community and celebrate being Deaf.

Check out our NWDP page to get some ideas or for more information.

Once you have got your event idea all worked out (including your promotional flyer!), simply register online at deafaustralia.org.au/nwdp

Get some great suggestions for your events here too.

Celebrating Deaf Culture during NWDP

What are you doing to celebrate Deaf people, culture and community this year?

National Week of Deaf People (NWDP) is happening this year from 18-24 October 2014, under the theme “Strengthening Human Diversity”.
It’s a weeklong national celebration of Deaf individuals and the Australian Deaf community.
So start thinking about how you might be able to make people more aware of your local, state and national Deaf communities and celebrate our Deaf community, language, culture and history.
It is also an opportunity for organisations involved with, or wishing to be involved with the Deaf Community to:

  • Showcase their services and/or products
  • Build/maintain relationships with Deaf People
  • Be recognised for giving Deaf people a fair go

Go to the Deaf Australia NWDP page to find out more about NWDP and register your event so it can be promoted as part of the nationwide events calendar for 2014.
Event registrations close Friday 26 September 2014

National Week of Deaf People 2013

National Week of Deaf People is on again!

Make sure you check out the events that are happening in your area and be part of celebrating Deafness and Deaf culture! You’ll find a full list of the events listed with Deaf Australia here.

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