Deaf seniors over 65 years of age can finally access Auslan supported services with the Aged Care Services.
Senator the Hon Richard Colbeck, Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians, has announced yesterday that a free sign language interpreting services will soon be available for seniors who are deaf and deafblind or hard of hearing and allow them to access appropriate assistance to aged care services.
Deaf Australia is pleased that the Government has ‘heard’ the call from the deaf community, including the Australian Deaf Elders, to fill the gap with the existing services that leave deaf seniors vulnerable and at risk of negligence.
Auslan (Australian Sign Language) is the primary or preferred language of many sign language users and rely on Auslan to gain information and make informed decisions that otherwise cannot be acquired without Auslan service.
‘This comprehensive new sign language interpreting service will make our aged care system far more accessible for people who are deaf, deafblind or hard of hearing’, said Minister Colbeck.
Auslan Connections will be responsible to provide interpreting services for deaf, deafblind and hard of hearing seniors to access aged care services.
National Auslan Booking Services (NABS) will continue to be provided to non-registered National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participants until 31 March 2021 to access interpreting assistance for private medical appointments. From 1 April 2021, this service will be available only for seniors over 65 and/or who are ineligible for NDIS.