Deaf Services selected for National interpreting program
Deaf Services has today welcomed the announcement of a free, national sign language interpreting service to all senior Australians who are Deaf, deafblind, hard of hearing or use sign language to communicate.
Deaf Services’ interpreting service Auslan Connections has been selected to deliver the new program, building on its nationally recognised experience providing interpreting and translation services to the Deaf community as well as Commonwealth and State governments.
The service, provided through The Australian Government Department of Health, will begin this month, and provide free sign language assistance to people who are receiving or want to access aged care services.
Deaf Services CEO, Brett Casey, said this was a major accessibility milestone for Deaf seniors, many of whom have not had regular access to information in their primary language.
“As our population ages, so does the need for accessible information for all community members.” Mr Casey said.
“Seniors are not eligible for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and there has been a significant funding gap evident since the introduction of the scheme.
“Since 2018, Deaf Services has worked to bridge this gap by delivering interpreting for seniors free of charge.
“We have also stood with the Deaf community in their long standing advocacy push to create awareness of this issue and to have it addressed by government.
"This commitment by the Federal Government creates a sustainable model for this support, ensuring agency and access for seniors to live the life they want, and to gain equitable access to the existing services provided to them.
“Deaf Services is proud to have been selected to deliver this program through Auslan Connections – continuing our support for Deaf seniors.”
In a statement, Senator the Hon. Richard Colbeck, Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians, said the engagement of Auslan Connections will deliver Deaf seniors more control over the assessment, planning and review of their care.
“This comprehensive new service will make our aged care system far more accessible for people who are deaf, deafblind or hard of hearing,” Senator Colbeck said.
The new program will use certified interpreters to provide face-to-face and online interpreting, including on-demand video interpreting, nationally, seven days a week and after business hours when required.
Services will be available to seniors in Auslan, Indigenous sign languages, American Sign Language, International Sign Language and signed English, as well as tactile signing and hand-over-hand for deafblind users.
For more information, please contact Auslan Connections on 1300 010 877 or visit their website www.auslanconnections.com.au. Auslan Connections is a joint venture between Deaf Services and Expression Australia.
Comment is available from Mr Brett Casey, CEO Deaf Services
For all media enquiries contact:
Ian Harvey Ross, Head of Marketing Deaf Services
07 3892 8530 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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