Auslan in Allied Health – Speech Language Pathology (Mia)

Published on: 18th September 2023

Today, we have the pleasure of introducing you to Mia McLay, a passionate and dedicated Speech Language Pathologist at Deaf Connect. Mia’s journey into the world of speech pathology and Auslan is truly inspiring, as she plays a crucial role in facilitating communication opportunities for deaf and hard of hearing children here at Deaf Connect. Let’s delve into her story and discover the incredible impact she has on the lives of her clients.

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How Mia Incorporates Auslan As A Speech and Language Pathologist

As a Speech Language Pathologist, Mia’s primary focus is to provide communication opportunities and support families in their communication journey with their children. Mia explains, showcasing the range of her communication strategies she brings to the role:

“My role includes spoken language and listening, Auslan, alternative and augmentative communication such as picture-based systems. Basically, anything the child and family needs to communicate their wants and needs throughout the day is what we support with,”

Collaboration is key in Mia’s role, and she works closely with other allied health professionals to ensure the best outcomes for the children she supports. Mia says, “This role is very collaborative. We work with all other allied health professionals. We collaborate with Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, Psychologists, and all the other staff here at Deaf Connect. This is how we get the best outcomes for the children, when they have a whole team around them to support them”.

“Auslan is extremely important for my role. It opens vital communication opportunities for deaf and hard of hearing children. Whether they are part of the Deaf community or still learning about the community, Auslan can provide connection and understanding. Lots of our children learn both English and Auslan, so we can use whichever language is best suited to them in that moment or for a certain activity.”

Mia’s Auslan Learning Journey

Mia’s journey into learning Auslan began when she started working at Deaf Connect in 2020. Initially, she learned informally through interactions with her Deaf colleagues. They generously taught her important signs and helped her progress. Later on, she pursued a formal course. This significantly boosted her skills and confidence in using Auslan to communicate effectively with her colleagues and the families she supports. In 2022, Mia completed her Certificate II in Auslan, and hopes to continue her studies later this year.

To those considering learning Auslan, Mia offers some advice:

“Just do it. Don’t agonize over the decision to sign up for a course. Go to the Deaf Connect website, look at the course that suits you and sign up. You’ll be in a class with awesome people who are really motivated to learn like you.”

She also encourages learners to immerse themselves in the Deaf community. Such as by attending appropriate community events, and connecting with others who are eager to support and share their knowledge. “Yeah, just jump in and do it. It’s fun, and you’re learning a language that will enable you to communicate with the Deaf and hard of hearing community,” Mia adds.

Mia’s dedication to her profession and her passion for Auslan demonstrate the impact learning Auslan can have, not only on her role as a Speech Language Pathologist but also in fostering inclusive and meaningful connections with the Deaf and hard of hearing community.

If you’re ready to embark on an enriching journey of communication and connection, we invite you to learn Auslan with Deaf Connect. Find out more here:

Like this story? View the full Auslan in Allied Health Playlist here.

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