Published on: 11th April 2023
Celebrating The Language of Your Deaf Audience
On Auslan Day, 13 April 2023, Deaf Connect seeks to promote the importance of Auslan and access for the community. The Deaf community celebrates Auslan Day as it marks the day in 1989, when the first Auslan (Australian Sign Language) dictionary was published.
Deaf Connect CEO Brett Casey says that Auslan Day is an opportunity to celebrate the language, and the role it plays in the culture and history of Deaf Australians while also educating and sharing this celebration with society.
“Auslan is the unique language of the Australian Deaf Community, and in 2023 it is more visible in mainstream Australian culture than ever before.” Mr Casey says.
“Since the inclusion of interpreters in press conferences and announcements during the Brisbane floods in 2011, access to emergency information in Auslan has become the norm rather than the exception.
“Throughout COVID-19, natural disasters and emergencies, Auslan visibility peaked – showing it is possible to provide equitable access to news and other media for the Deaf community.
“Auslan is a rich and linguistically diverse language that is statically increasing in use, it is great to see Auslan becoming more prevalent, however, it needs to be incorporated across media more frequently.
“This Auslan Day, Deaf Connect encourages government, media and private businesses to examine how much of their public facing information is accessible to Deaf Australians, and challenge some of the barriers to providing this access.
“Access in Auslan – through authentic Deaf translation or Auslan Interpreters – should be considered all of the time, not just in emergency broadcasts. It is a right of all Deaf Australians to have access to information in all aspects of life.”
“This Auslan Day Deaf Connect will be continuing its tradition of providing taster classes, encouraging even more hearing people to try their hand at sign language – and join the Deaf community in celebrating the history and importance of their language. Details of these classes are below.”
“It’s encouraging to see so many people interested in learning new skills to ensure greater access and equality of information for all Australians.”
Auslan Day – April 13th
What is Auslan?Auslan (Australian Sign Language) is the language of the Australian Deaf community. It was developed in Australia by people who are Deaf so that they could communicate with others. Older sign languages that are connected to Auslan include British Sign Language (BSL) and Irish Sign Language. Auslan is a unique language owned by the Australian Deaf community.
What is Auslan Day? Auslan Day celebrates the rich history, culture, community and language of the Australian Deaf community by honouring the date of first publication of the Auslan dictionary. Professor Trevor Johnson (sign name: TJ) is a hearing CODA (child of a Deaf adult) from a large Deaf family. Through his involvement in the Deaf community, he began to research the linguistics of Australian Sign Language. Trevor published the first Australian Sign Language Dictionary on 13 April 1989.
How is Auslan Day celebrated? Auslan Day is celebrated to spread awareness of the rich history and culture of the Australian Deaf community and Auslan. Auslan Day is an initiative of Deaf Australia, the Deaf-led peak organisation representing Deaf Australians.
Deaf Connect advocates the use of Deaf leaders for comment on topics related to the Deaf community, culture and language. Interpreters will be provided for all media events and opportunities.
Comment is available from Mr Brett Casey, CEO.
For all media enquiries contact Ian Harvey Ross, Head of Marketing on 0407 180 710 or [email protected].