Changes to the National Sign Language Program (NSLP)

Published on: 14th May 2024

The Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care’s NSLP will expand its services to include medical appointments, Starting July 1 2024  


If you are 65 years and older and do not have a NDIS plan, there is an important change coming from July 1, which will impact which service provider you book interpreting for medical appointments through. 

Interpreting for medical appointments has previously been provided by the National Auslan Booking System (NABS).  

But from 1 July 2024, you will need to book an interpreter through a different program: the National Sign Language Program (NSLP) for people 65 years and older. 

What is the National Sign Language Program (NSLP)?


The National Sign Language Program is provided by the Department of Health and Aged Care to support older Deaf, deafblind and hard of hearing people who are not eligible for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). 

The NSLP provides similar services to NABS – but also includes other services, such as free interpreting in social and professional settings like: banking and attending weddings, funerals, clubs and cultural activities. It will now be expanded to include medical settings.  

Interpreting services under the NSLP are arranged through Deaf Connect.  

How do I book an interpreter? 


For all bookings after 30 June 2024, you will not contact NABS. You can make a booking for interpreters with Deaf Connect.  This means you only need to book at one place. 

You can contact the Deaf Connect bookings team in a number of ways:  

You can continue to book interpreters for health and medical appointments before 30 June 2024 through NABS.  

If you have any questions, you can contact NABS at:  


For more information about the NSLP, visit the Department of Health and Aged Care’s website.  

If you have any questions to ask the Department about this change, please contact: [email protected] 

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