Published on: 28th July 2023
Learning Auslan for Speech Language Pathologists
At Deaf Connect, our Speech Language Pathologists are dedicated to supporting Deaf and hard of hearing individuals in their communication journey and providing opportunities to connect with their loved ones. While spoken language, writing, and listening play vital roles, sign language is also an invaluable tool that can enhance communication for many individuals.
Ashlee Everist, one of our Speech Language Pathologist’s, shares her insights on why learning Auslan (Australian Sign Language) is crucial for her line of work. To start your own Auslan journey, check out our classes here.
Supporting Communication and Language Development
Ashlee emphasises the importance of supporting individuals’ communication needs using various modalities, including sign language, and the role of Auslan in a child’s total development. She recognises Auslan as a vital component for empowering children to express themselves and engage with the world around them.
My goal for most of the children I work with in the early years is just making sure that they have full-time access to language and I really value the role that Auslan has to play in achieving that goal.
Working within a multidisciplinary team at Deaf Connect, Ashlee explains, “It’s a really nice environment to be able to support the whole kid and not just focus on their communication needs.” She values the collaboration with professionals from different fields and recognises the benefits of a comprehensive approach to support individuals’ development.
Personal Journey: Learning Auslan
Sharing her personal experience, Ashlee says, “I started off with the Community Auslan Class through Deaf Connect, and I fell in love with it.”
After that, I started working here and really recognised that a good understanding of the language is absolutely imperative working with these children.
Ashlee’s dedication to learning Auslan is evident through her pursuit of certifications, including her plans to complete a Diploma in Auslan.
Ashlee appreciates the immersive nature of Auslan classes, noting that “you’re fully immersed in the language from the start.” She finds the voice-off nature of the classes to be beneficial for learning. As a SLP, she recognises the unique opportunity for language learning that Auslan classes provide.
Learning from Deaf Teachers
Ashlee emphasises the value of being taught by Deaf teachers, stating, “And it’s just really nice to be taught by Deaf teachers so you know that you’re getting the best possible learning experience.” Learning from Deaf teachers ensures an authentic and culturally rich learning experience.
Incorporating Auslan into the toolkit of Speech Language Pathologists is essential for fostering effective communication and supporting the overall development of individuals, especially those who are deaf or hard of hearing. Auslan plays a vital role in the multidisciplinary approach, enabling professionals to provide holistic support.
By recognising the importance of Auslan and investing in learning this rich and expressive language, Speech Language Pathologists can enhance their ability to empower individuals to communicate and connect with others effectively.
Deaf Connect’s Speech Language Pathology service is available in Queensland. For more information and availability, please contact us on [email protected]
Ashlee currently practices out of our Yeerongpilly office in Brisbane. If you would like to contact our Therapy and Family services for more information, please visit here.
Like this story? View the full Auslan in Allied Health Playlist here.