Extra support for Ballarat’s deaf community will be provided by an innovative training program.
From late February, Melbourne Polytechnic will deliver Certificate II and III in Auslan – or Australian Sign Language – in the Ballarat region via flexible distance learning.
It will allow people to not only communicate using Auslan but provide a further study pathway to become an interpreter or a teacher of the deaf.
deafConnectED manager Cathy Clark said a “taster” session would also be offered on Saturday for anyone to come along and learn basic Auslan skills.
deafConnect coordinates the Auslan program for Melbourne Polytechnic.
It is also part of the Victorian Auslan Training Consortium.
“The deaf community in regional areas, such as the greater Ballarat area, lack the sort of support that is available to people in the metropolitan area,” Ms Clark said.
“This Auslan training means people in regional communities can get the training they need to improve their ability to service members of the deaf community, and also help deaf people fulfil their responsibilities within the broader community.”
From Monday, February 27 Auslan will be delivered via a combination of weekly video conferencing classes at Federation University, face-to-face tutoring and home study using online learning management system Moodle.
“The flexible delivery means students receive the critical face-to-face signing training in real time, with a professional Auslan teacher who is also a member of the deaf community.
“This training will benefit so many in the deaf and hard of hearing community.
“It provides a pathway to a range of fulfilling careers such as Auslan interpreting, which is an essential service that supports the inclusion of deaf people into society.”
Auslan is a primary language used by Australia’s deaf community and is a visual, spatial language with its own grammar and syntax quite distinct from English.
To find out more about the training or to enrol in the certificate studies, contact Gina Auciello on 9269 8304 or email GinaAuciello@melbournepolytechnic.edu.au
The time and venue for the taster session are yet to be confirmed but people can still register their interest via Ms Auciello on her landline or email.