Why weren’t the community consulted about this?
We understand that the community may have concerns about this process and will continue to work with the community to make sure any concerns and recommendations are considered going forward. We want to assure everyone that both Deaf Connect and Access Plus WA Deaf have been working together closely during the due diligence period to ensure the best possible outcomes for the Deaf, deafblind, and hard of hearing communities in Western Australia.
While we have been unable to consult with the community during due diligence, we are committed to providing ongoing communication and transparency throughout the transition process. We value the community’s input and feedback, and we look forward to working with them to build a stronger, more united community.
Will the organisation stay at Wembley or move?
There are no plans to relocate the organisation from its current location. We understand the importance of maintaining a central and accessible location for our community.
What will happen to any existing investments?
The investments will be retained and continue to be managed with a focus on supporting and growing the services we provide to the community, and to explore Deaf space in Western Australia.
What happened with the partnership with Expression Australia?
Access Plus WA Deaf’s partnership with Expression Australia has been a positive one and we will continue to explore opportunities for collaboration and partnership with them in the future.
Will Access Plus WA Deaf change its name to Deaf Connect?
Yes, Access Plus WA Deaf’s staff and services will become part of Deaf Connect, and will be named as such.
What will happen to the Western Australia Deaf Society/Access Plus name?
In a similar fashion to the names Deaf Services, the Deaf Society and the Royal South Australian Deaf Society, this name will become part of the rich history of our organisation – informing our values into the future and supporting our legacy.
Will we preserve the 103-year history the Deaf Society?
We understand the importance of preserving the history and legacy of the WA Deaf Society. We will work to ensure that this rich history is celebrated and acknowledged as we move forward as a growing organisation. Deaf Connect’s Australian Deaf History Project will continue to grow and develop as a hub for the recognition and maintenance of the strong histories of Deaf communities across Australia.
Will there be community space?
Deaf Connect’s first role in Western Australia will be ensuring the benefits of this national organisation are flowing through to the services Access Plus WA Deaf provides the community. We must also understand what makes the WA Deaf Community unique, and we look forward to working as a combined team to understand the needs the community expressed during the recent feedback sessions – particularly regarding a community space.
What are the benefits to the community?
The change for Access Plus WA Deaf will bring significant benefits to the community, including enhanced services and increased resources. We are committed to working closely with the community to identify areas of need and ensure that our services continue to meet the evolving needs of our community.
Will current Access Plus WA Deaf services continue?
Yes, current Access Plus WA Deaf services will continue. Our focus is on building upon the existing services and enhancing them to better serve our community.
Will Deaf Connect introduce new services?
As a larger organisation, we will be able to draw upon the strengths of both organisations to introduce new and innovative services to the community. We will work closely with the community to identify areas of need and develop new services that will enhance the lives of our community members.
Will staff lose their jobs?
There are no plans for staff redundancies. Our focus is on building a stronger and more sustainable organisation that can better serve our community.
What does this mean for Deaf Connect’s relationship with Expression Australia?
We understand the importance of maintaining positive relationships with all organisations that support our community. Our relationship with Expression Australia will continue to be an important one, and we will explore opportunities for collaboration and partnership in the future.
Does this mean Deaf Connect will take over VIC & TAS next?
There are no plans for Deaf Connect to acquire its services with other existing organisations in Victoria or Tasmania. Our focus is on ensuring the success of the transfer of staff and services between Deaf Connect and Access Plus WA Deaf and enhancing services for our community in Western Australia. Across Australia we will continue to look for areas where the community is not adequately supported and do what we can to fill those gaps.
What is the impact on current members of Access Plus WA Deaf?
Current members of Access Plus WA Deaf will be offered a transition to a member of Deaf Connect – which will be free for 12 months, and $5 a year following the first year. Their membership will be transferred over to Deaf Connect, ensuring that they continue to receive the same benefits, services, and support they have been accustomed to. The merger aims to enhance the overall experience for members by expanding programs, fostering collaboration, and increasing the organisation’s impact within the community. Further details and updates regarding the transition will be communicated to members in due course.