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Our Culture, Our Value: The Social and Economic Benefits of Auslan

The reports provide recommendations to address issues faced by Deaf and hard of hearing people as well as the economic and social benefits of Auslan, and the optimal timing of Auslan intervention.

The first research report to be publicly released, titled ‘Our Culture, Our Value, The Social and Economic Benefits of Auslan’ is one of three ground-breaking reports on the economic impact of Auslan on the Australian Economy, produced by Per Capita and commissioned by Deaf Connect and Deaf Australia.  

These research reports will be directly presented to the government and key stakeholders to advocate for these important issues.

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Social and Economic Benefits of Auslan Report Image

Our Culture, Our Value: The Costs of Hearing Loss in Australia

The economic impact of deafness is very large, with a recent estimate suggesting that the costs exceed 1.303 trillion dollars globally (WHO, 2021). Approximately 57% of these costs are incurred by middle-, lower middle-, and low-income countries (McDaid, 2020). Nonetheless, costs remain high within OECD countries, particularly in relation to care, productivity, and quality of life (Ibid, 2020). Yet many of these costs are avoidable and may be reduced through early intervention, expedient screening, and other care and productivity responses.

Click here to view the Summary Report or download the Full Report below.

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Exploring the Benefits of Auslan in Early Intervention Approaches for Deaf Children

While the benefits of sign language are readily apparent, the role of the timing of language intervention, and early intervention are not readily apparent to many who do not possess a thorough understanding of the benefits of such intervention and the process of language acquisition. The decision to support sign language as the first language for a deaf child is a complex one for parents, given that most deaf children are born into hearing families. Nonetheless, the nearly half century’s worth of research supports the role of sign language in early intervention.

Click here to download the Summary Report or download the Full Report below.

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A Culturally Affirming Way Forward

Deaf Connect and Deaf Australia have identified the need for a sound evidence base explaining the economic value, and optimal timing, of Auslan intervention. These organisations commissioned Per Capita to explore critical issues pertinent to the Deaf community within Australia.

In comparison to many other advanced economies, there remains a genuine shortage of research exploring the social impact of sign language in Australia. Without such an evidence basis, the efficacy of policy formulation and program design will be limited.

Over two reports, entitled “Our Culture, Our Value: The Social and Economic Benefits of Auslan”, and “Exploring the Benefits of Auslan in Early Intervention Approaches for Deaf Children”, Per Capita has drawn together expert opinion and academic research on the economic and social benefits of Auslan, and the optimal timing of Auslan intervention.

These reports identify poorly understood benefits associated with Auslan as a capability-enhancing primary language, as a source of protection against the uncertainty of outcomes associated with alternative approaches, and in support of other intervention approaches.

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2022-10-24 13_11_07-dfc2704_per_capita_briefs_CULTURALLY_AFFIRMING_WAY_FORWARD_DIGITAL.pdf and 4 mor

The Social and Economic Benefits of Auslan Report Summary

Our Culture, Our Value, The Social and Economic Benefits of Auslan’ is the first of three ground-breaking reports into the economic impact of Auslan on the Australian economy produced by Per Capita and commissioned by Deaf Connect and Deaf Australia.   

The report considers the economic benefits of Auslan accounting for the critical benefits to wellbeing, health literacy, services access, and individual productivity. The research seeks to account for the benefits associated with Auslan as a community-enabling and culturally supportive language. 

The research shows that Deaf Australians could be over $12,000 per year better off if they are provided with adequate Auslan (Australian Sign Language) intervention.  

To find out more see our full report, summary or Auslan video.  

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Media Release

Media Opportunities:

For all media enquiries, contact us.

Deaf Connect offer interpreting services for Auslan representation across all media.

Interviews and comment are available from Mr Brett Casey, CEO Deaf Connect and Jen Blyth, CEO Deaf Australia.

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