SJ locals try their hand at Basic Auslan Conversation Courses

Published on Thursday, 14 July 2022 at 2:08:59 PM

Nineteen Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale locals have been doing their bit to support inclusion in the Shire by participating in a series of Basic Auslan Conversation Courses over recent months.

Funded by the Shire with the support of the Access and Inclusion Advisory Group, the in-person classes have seen participants learn how to use Auslan (Australian sign language) in a range of personal and professional scenarios.

Held at the Briggs Park Youth Space across May and June 2022, classes were run by professional instructors over an eight-week period.

Among the participants were local teachers, education assistants, business owners and staff and members of community and sporting groups.

Local education assistant Benita Robinson decided to enroll in the course after she once encountered a deaf child lost in a department store who she was unable to communicate with.

Benita said she is already using her new-found skills.

“I already use what I’ve learnt in class with my students to say good morning and to have conversations,” she said.

“I love how engaging (our tutor) has been and how challenging it has been to learn from a deaf person.”

An administrator at a local recreation centre, Sue Allen signed up to the course to learn how to communicate with Auslan customers at her workplace.

Sue said the course gave her a greater appreciation for the challenges faced by the deaf and the hard of hearing.

“I really appreciate the first sessions focusing on deaf culture,” she said.

“This opened my eyes to the challenges the deaf and hard of hearing community face daily.”

The course was the second of its kind to be funded by the Shire, with the first completed by 16 participants in 2021.

The popular course has already registered expressions of interest from a further 50 residents, with details on the next sessions to be released when they become available.

For more on the Access and Inclusion Advisory Group

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