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Deaf Community - Australia

If You Lived Down Under

By

Updated May 07, 2011

What does Australia have to offer its deaf and hard of hearing citizens? Turns out the answer is plenty.

Business

Australia has an Australian Deaf Chamber of Commerce that nurtures businesses owned or managed by deaf and hard of hearing people. The chamber markets the businesses to the hearing community as well as the deaf community, and offers an announcement list and networking opportunities.

Captioning

Television in Australia is accessible thanks to the Australian Caption Centre.

Cochlear Implants

Australia is the headquarters of Cochlear Corporation, the manufacturers of the Nucleus cochlear implant.

Education

Australia has several schools for the deaf, located around Australia. A few of them:

New South Wales:

  • Farrar School for Deaf Students
  • North Rocks School for Deaf Children
  • Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children

Victoria

  • Carronbank School for Deaf-Blind Children
  • Ewing House School for Deaf Children

Western Australia

  • Cottesloe School for Deaf and Hearing Impaired Children
  • Mosman Park School for Deaf Children

Parents of Deaf and Hard of Hearing

There is a national Parents of Hearing Impaired Children National Network in Australia to assist parents of deaf and hard of hearing children.

Political, Advocacy, and Cultural Organizations

The umbrella association of the deaf in Australia is the Australian Association of the Deaf. Another organization meets the needs of deafblind people, the Australian DeafBlind Council. There is also the Deafness Forum of Australia, which focuses on advocacy and public awareness.

Professional Organizations

Associations for the key professions serving deaf and hard of hearing people exist in Australia. For example, teachers of the deaf can join the Australian Association of Teachers of the Deaf, and interpreters can belong to the Australian Sign Language Interpreters Association.

Religion

The primary national religious association appears to be the Catholic Association for Deaf and Hearing Impaired People of Australia. There are also other, smaller faith organizations.

Senior Citizens

Australia's older hearing impaired citizens have five associations to choose from, in New South Wales, Queensland, Tasmania, Victoria, and Western Australia.

Sign Language

Australia's sign language is known as Australian Sign Language, or Auslan. Resources available for learning Auslan include:

  • The Australian Sign Language Dictionary, "Signs of Australia," a CD-ROM.
  • Courses offered by organizations such as the Victorian Deaf Society, the New South Wales Deaf Education Network, and the Western Australian Deaf Society.

Sports

The national sports association for the deaf in Australia is the Australian Deaf Sports Association, whose website is Deaf Sports Australia.

Social Organizations

From the looks of it, deaf people in Australia have a very healthy social life, with at least 20 clubs for the deaf to choose from in Australia's states. For addresses and other contact information for these and other resources for deaf and hard of hearing people in Australia, check the Australian Communication Exchange website.

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