Have you ever thought about learning Auslan, the Australian sign language?
For well over 12 months now, government COVID updates and before that Bushfire updates (2019-20), became a daily part of our lives and so has the sight of sign language interpreters on our screens. If you have been living under a child-centric bubble and have missed these updates, you have probably seen Emma Wiggle (Emma Watkins) including Auslan in her performances or for a more adult format, Australian comedian Adam Hills regularly has a interpreter at his shows.
This increased visibility of Auslan has had a huge impact on the lives of Deaf Australians, it means they have access to critical health and safety information in their first language. Information we should all have access to.
On reading an article in The Conversation, they reported that The Deaf Society and Deaf Services reports enrolments in Auslan courses have risen by more than 400% since the pandemic began. They attribute this directly to COVID and the increased visibility of signing on the national stage.
This is fantastic news as for many, Auslan is a vital means of communication. I was surprised to read that Auslan is not classified in Australia as a National Language…but it is in New Zealand.
You can easily learn basic conversational skills with no experience required, all from the comfort of your own home.
If you are living in Australia, it is recommended you learn Auslan not a sign language from another country (yes there are other forms!) to ensure you can communicate effectively in the community.
I recommend checking out Asphyxia on YouTube and complete her online FREE course to learn start out. It is easy to follow for all ages.
Auslan Australia: https://www.auslan.org.au/
Deaf Australia: https://deafaustralia.org.au/
The Deaf Society: https://deafsociety.org.au/
Adam Hills 2010 Melbourne International Comedy Festival – I will leave it to you to search. Adult content warning.