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Auslan (Australian sign language) is a visual form of communication for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. It uses hand, arm and body movements to convey meaning.

  • Aarav's partner is in hospital having a baby. An Auslan interpreter is able to communicate on the progress and health of Asrav's partner and baby.
  • People from across Australia are visiting a large event. Video messages at the event are also provided in Auslan. This ensures that people who are deaf or hard of hearing have access to the same information as the hearing community.

Around 20,000 people use Auslan to communicate every day.

It is used in many settings including:

  • government agencies providing service information and training via presentations
  • virtual launches and video conferences
  • kindergarten programs
  • schools and universities
  • community events
  • websites
  • sporting activities
  • medical appointments
  • arts events
  • within the police and court system
  • emergency management communication.

Auslan interpreters provide a wide range of services. For example: attending your community event, appearing on video or face to face interpreting.

Providers across Australia include:

A great starting point is to look up the organisation for deafness advocacy in your state. For example:

Many community, technical and further education (TAFE) institutions and organisations also offer Auslan classes.

A call through the National Relay Service (NRS) lets you communicate with a person who is using a phone even if you can't hear them or they don't use their voice.

  • The NRS has specially trained staff called Relay Officers who help with every call.
  • Depending on the type of call, a Relay Officer will change voice to text or text to voice and AUSLAN to English or English to AUSLAN.
  • Relay officers stay on the line throughout each call to help it go smoothly, but don't change or get in the way of what is being said.
  • Except for calls made through Video Relay, the NRS is available 24 Hours a day, every day.
  • Depending on their hearing and speech, and equipment, people can choose from one or more relay call types.
Page last updated: 24 March 2021