Category: Updates

NDIS participants can use plan funds to claim for rapid antigen tests (RATs)


Hello, Deaf Australia wants to let you all know that those who already have NDIS plans that there was a recent announcement that you can make a claim to cover the cost if you plan to buy a RAT – a home test to see if you have COVID19 or not. You can buy it, get the receipt to make the claim and get your money back, to cover the cost. Whether it’s through your plan management or self-managed plan to make a claim. Really, the NDIS wants those with disabilities and deaf people to still access support services and continue life as normal. Not as being stuck because they can’t afford to buy RATs, so they’ll cover the cost. If you want more information, you can have a look at the NDIS website. 

ILC projects update – Feb 2022


Hello, I’m Simon *gives name sign*, the Project Manager at Deaf Australia. I’m excited to tell you about two ILC funded projects we are doing at Deaf Australia The first one is to distribute Auslan based information resources to the Deaf community. The second one is to develop Auslan toolkits plus research the Deaf community. Really exciting projects, now over to Jen.   

 Hello, I’m Jen Blyth, CEO of Deaf Australia. I’m excited to tell you briefly about two projects we have at present. Why would I be excited about these projects? I feel they are really valuable and worthy projects for Deaf Australia. One project focuses on eLearning so people can develop knowledge about how to advocate for themselves and they can also access information that interests them. We provide webinars on topics of interest. Hearing people listen to podcasts on topics that interests them so Deaf people can watch topics that interest them too in their language (Auslan). The resources are also accessible with captions. I’m also really excited about the other project focusing on advocacy and information so you can use it for yourselves. Who are the people doing these projects? You shall see…  

 Hello, I’m Paula, I work as a resource officer developing the Deaf Ecosystem project. It has three strands: webinars presenting about specific topics; vodcasts where two people are invited to talk about chosen topics; and skill-share where Deaf people with short films of themselves showing a skill they have. If you want to be involved or you have an idea do let me know. I work closely with Shirley who I will now hand you over to… 

 Hello, I’m Shirley, I work in a community and development role. I’m focusing on the eLearning project, which is like an online course, over different topics. They’re designed to encourage you to develop knowledge such as making a stand and advocating for yourself thus making the decision-making processes easier. I am hoping to launch these courses very soon. If you are interested and keen to be involved do let me know. Now I’m going to hand you over to Darlene… 

 Hello, I’m Darlene and I work on the ILC 2 project, to develop toolkits to assist with governments and businesses over how to work with deaf people in Australia who use Auslan. I’m also developing toolkits for deaf people in Australia who use Auslan, to show the best way to advocate, the steps involved, to get what they need. It is an exciting project to focus on for the not-too-distant future. Pretty soon though we’ll need people to get involved in the project. Thank you!             

CE update – 8 Feb 2022


Hello, I’m Jen Blyth, CEO of Deaf Australia. I have a lot of information to provide to you all, squeezed into a brief update.  

 We have a SGM coming soon. The SGM will be held in March. What will we talk about? First, the road tour update, secondly, giving out the awards and thirdly give our members the opportunity to vote for one of two membership and fee structures that they prefer. We will provide more information soon to give you time to read it through and work out which option you want to choose.  

 We also have an update over our ILC project about which we will explain in a separate video.  

 We have the Auslan Day video competition coming up soon; we will celebrate our beautiful Auslan on 13th April.  

 Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been involved in meeting with all sorts of people for advocacy purposes and organisations as well to advocate to the government on different issues. One recent collaboration was with Deaf Connect last week, with Brent Phillips, (*missing name sign*) and myself, with Vanessa who MC’d the event. It focused on the election campaign with the Federal government and there was a lot of people involved with ideas, suggestions and comments. We also received emails with what people envision we should advocate over to the government for the election. I then had a meeting with Per Capita, a group tasked with the responsibility for researching the information we requested, so they can collate it all together to help us prepare for the campaign. I finished handed over what we had and they’ve not yet got back to us. We should receive it soon. Once we do, we’ll provide an update, the same as Deaf Connect will do with their *missed the sign*. We will provide more information as we go.  

 I think that’s it for now. As usual, if you have any questions, want advocacy support, or whatever else you need, do contact me. If you just want to know something, like what’s happening at present, that’s fine too.  

Don’t forget this Thursday we have a CEO Q & A with me, from 5 – 6 pm. That’s a good opportunity to ask me what’s on your mind or to clarify something. Thank you! Have a good week.   

Disaster Risk Reducer eLearning call outs – experience with disasters?


Hello! I’m overseeing a project which focuses on developing eLearning modules which are online courses on different topics that you can access according to your interest/s. One topic we are developing is the Disaster & Risk Reduction (DRR) module. It’s a really interesting course where you learn about different emergency services, what they do, what specific services they provide and how they participate in community education to help defend against disaster. You’ll become knowledgeable after learning all about it.

We want to encourage people to put their hands up to get involved in two different groups; your experiences with one of the groups or both. The first group asks for anyone who has experience volunteering with emergency services such as the SES, fire services like the RFS or any other related services. If you have any experience with this please do come and get involved. We will ask you questions about your experiences to put into the module. It will encourage people to be more curious and learn.

That’s the first group. The second group asks for people who’ve experienced disaster/s such as house fires, bushfires, flooding, cyclones or any other natural disasters. We would like you to tell a short story about your experiences, to be filmed, as a Deaf person experiencing that along with things like communication breakdowns or lack of information available.

If you feel you have experience in one or the other or even both groups, please contact this person who is developing the DRR module named Leyla. Please email her ([email protected]), she will take your details, consult with you before arranging the filming of your story ranging from 1 to 3-4 minutes. The videos will be shown later along with the module at its launch. If you have any questions please contact us.

Awards nomination now open


Deaf Australia recently received responses from a survey sent out regarding a few things; thank you for that. Part of the survey asked about the awards. There were a lot of comments suggesting that one of the awards be dropped and we all agreed that we will go from 4 awards to 3. The award to omit is the Fair Go award. We will provide more information at the SGM, a special meeting held on the 4th of March.

We are excited to open up nominations for the awards dating back from 2020 to 2021. It’s not for this year but for the past year. Have a look at the website which provides information for each different award. We have three awards: the Deaf Australian of the Year, Deaf Youth of the Year and Deaf Community Volunteer of the Year.

All the information is on the website, there is a nomination form you can fill in. There are guidelines to make sure that the person nominated fits the criteria. If there is anyone you know out there in the Deaf community who works hard, is a volunteer and supports the community and so should be recognised you can fill out details about them and why they should win. You can write or film yourself. You can upload the form and send it off, easily done. The nominations have a cut-off date which is the 25th of February at 5pm AEST. When we receive the nominations, we will have a team to assess them and make the announcements at the SGM in March.

So c’mon, get nominating!

CE update – 21 Jan 2022


Hello, I’m Jen Blyth, CEO of Deaf Australia. Happy New Year, am really excited to be back, Deaf Australia is really keen to see what’s happening this year with the Deaf community. To let you know a few things that’s happening, first, the CEO Q & A that was postponed last January. It will now be in February, on the 10th at 5pm Melbourne time. The format is the same as the Q & A that was held last year where the community asked some hard questions as well as easy questions; am looking forward to the next one.

In March we have the SGM, will release more details soon. The SGM will cover a few topics, and an important one for you all are the awards. We’ll have nominations open for the awards very soon. The Deaf community has indicated that they really want this to happen, so we’ll make sure it does happen for you all. You can nominate someone for Deaf Australian of the Year, Deaf Youth of the Year and Community volunteer of the year. There will also be an AGM later on this year and the awards will be presented again. The SGM awards this year is to acknowledge those for last year’s; the AGM awards are for this year.

Now for the NDIA update. You remember that I encouraged you all last year to let me know of barriers encountered with getting Auslan provided for children in your NDIA plans. I thank those who’ve already done so. The NDIA recognises that there is a gap in their modelling and it needs to be improved. We are collaborating with them to fix the situation where Auslan is put under the ‘core’ section – it should be in the ‘capacity building’ section. We know that if you have a self-managed plan it’s fine, but if it’s managed by others that’s where the barriers are encountered. The NDIA will continue to note these issues and for now, do continue to ask for a review and AAT. You can ask Deaf Australia to be included as an AAT expert to explain why including Auslan is so important. Please do continue to contact me, and keep submitting your complaints to them.

This bit is exciting; you remember the Dot Shaw Writer’s Competition from last year? We also have an Auslan Competition! We’ll have the competition on 13th April, called the Auslan Day Video Competition. We’ll release further information very soon about this, and I’m excited about getting submissions from you all, from different categories, age groups and topics. I won’t tell you all the details just yet! Just know that I and the team will enjoy getting popcorn and watching all the submissions! We’ll give you more information soon.

Thank you!

I hope you have a wonderful 2022 and as always, contact me or the team any time.


CE’s Q&A postponed


Hello everyone! Hope you’ve all had a lovely break over the holidays, enjoying the time catching up with family and friends.

Maybe you know that we at Deaf Australia organised with the CE Jen to have a Q & A discussion online this Thursday (13th January). Unfortunately, we need to let you know that we’re postponing this event to the second week of February, Thursday 10th. We will inform you all of the time this will happen closer to the date. In the meantime, we will provide information over what time this will happen; how to participate in the session and what it will look like on Facebook and Instagram. We will also provide this information in the TTT newsletter in the not-too-distant future. If you’d like to subscribe to TTT, which is free, go to our website and fill in your information to receive the next TTT newsletter.

Hope to see you there! Bye bye.

Community Survey 2021


This survey is important for our members to complete and help us to understand what our Deaf Community wants and to see what we can do. We have a few questions to ask you - which will relate to our upcoming Special General Meeting in February 2022. We want to hear from all of you and make sure we are going in the right direction. It will only take you 10 minutes.

  • First section - Membership
  • Second section – Awards
  • Third section – Colin Allen AM Lecture

We look forward to receiving your response and will share the results with you all when it is available.

Auslan Shop Update — 20 Dec 2021


Hello! I want to let you know the Auslan Shop will close because of Christmas and New Year of course. That means from the 24th December we will be closed until the 3rd January. So we will be back on the 4th January but you can still make online orders, and when I’m back on the 4th January I will start processing all your orders and prepare to send them out, ready for you onwards. So we wish you all a great enjoyable time with your family and friends. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. See you next year! 

Meet our new staff members


Hello Im June, I work for Deaf Australia in Project Support Officer role. I look after things like video editing, filming and other jobs. Im so excited to be a part of an awesome team to make improvements for the future. See you soon. 

Hi my name is Simon, this is my sign name, I work as a Project Manager for Deaf AustraliaIm really so excited to make sure the projects are successful and benefit the Deaf community. 

Hello my name is Ipek, Im a new staff member here at Deaf Australia and I work in a Project Support Officer role. Its so exciting to be involved with Deaf Australia advocating so much for the Deaf, hard of hearing and deafblind community. See you soon. 

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