Working as a researcher in the UK - “Working as a researcher in

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					08           ISSUE

          JULY/AUGUST 2007          I      The newsletter for Victoria’s Deaf and hard of hearing people

“Working as a researcher in the UK” –
presentation by Robert Adam By Trisha Dench (Balharrie)
As a part of the course in the Bachelor of Education in LOTE (Auslan) at Latrobe University,
my class was encouraged to attend Robert Adam’s presentation on 3 April, 2007 at Vicdeaf.
A large number of people turned up.

Robert talked about the Deafness          face, hands or lips; checking what
Cognition and Language Research           facial expressions of emotion are
Centre (DCAL) where he works as           associated with a particular sign and
a researcher in the UK. The aims of       how a sign is used.
DCAL are to study how Deaf people
                                          We look forward to have Robert
in the UK use British Sign Language
                                          presenting his findings from this
(BSL) as well as lip-reading and to
                                          research in five years time. If only
compare Deaf and hearing people’s
                                          we have a similar thing happening
language and cognition. More
                                          in Australia researching about our
information can be found at this
                                          beautiful language – Auslan!
Robert and three other people are         A Deaf Interpreter’s Experience
working on a Sign Segmentation
                                          After talking about his work on the
Project which is affiliated with DCAL
                                          Sign Segmentation Project, Robert
and based at City University in
                                          talked about his experience as a Deaf
London. This project researches how
                                          Interpreter. He has worked in various
deaf people understand sign; which
                                          roles including: Deafblind interpreting
parts of the sign are important; how
                                          with Vicdeaf, the Melbourne 2005
signs are formed; how the age of a                                                    Above: Robert Adam. Photo source: Cindy Cave.
                                          Deaflympics, the World Federation of
person that signs will influence how
                                          the Deaf congress in Montreal and           Below: Vicdeaf President Mac Adam introducing
they sign; and what the best age is                                                   Robert Adam. Photo source: Cindy Cave
                                          now occasionally in the UK.
for people to learn sign language
as most deaf people in the UK do          Robert told us that there is
not learn sign language as a first         no current qualification or
language. For more information on         accreditation system in the
this project, refer to their website,     UK for Deaf Interpreters.       The current system is
segmentation/                             based on different levels
                                          of accreditation from the
Robert showed us a software program
                                          Independent Registration
which can assess BSL skills levels, for
                                          Panel where interpreters
example, check where the gaze of a
                                          are accredited under the
person is looking at another person
                                          national competency
signing BSL and where the eyes are
watching the subject, such as the
                                                       ...continued page 10

        From the CEO: Graeme Kelly
        When I last wrote in Communicate I hadn’t yet started at Vicdeaf but I can
        now happily report that my first two months with Vicdeaf have more than
        met my expectations.The professionalism and enthusiasm of the Board,
        management team and staff are very impressive and I am confident that we
        can together achieve much more in the years ahead for our community.

        To that end the Board and the senior management team            • To improve Vicdeaf ‘s profile in the community
        spent a Friday afternoon and a Saturday in May at the
                                                                        • To foster better relationships with a number of key
        Melbourne University Business School at Mt Eliza to review
        how we are going with the implementation of the Strategic
        Plan and to make any necessary changes.                         I’m making sure that I catch up with as many staff as
                                                                        possible within Vicdeaf but also in organizations that are
        We have reaffirmed our commitment to:
                                                                        have very important relationships with us such as the other
        • Our vision – Vicdeaf... Leading the way in social justice     Deaf Societies around Australia, Department of Human
           and equity for Deaf and hard of hearing people               Services, Deaf Children Australia, VCOD, ACOD, Deafness
                                                                        Forum, National Relay Service, ASLIA, Deaf Sports Australia,
        • Our principles – Access, Equity, Communication,
                                                                        Deaf Sports Recreation Victoria, Better Hearing Australia,
           Responsiveness, Effectiveness, Efficiency and
                                                                        Australian Hearing, La Trobe University, Worcester
                                                                        Polytechnic University USA, Hearing CRC and others.
        • Our key outcomes – Stakeholder Engagement,
                                                                        It’s also been very enjoyable meeting with members of the
           Our People, Our Services and Resource Sustainability
                                                                        community such as the Senior Citizens’ Group (and playing
        We have highlighted the need to put greater                     carpet bowls with them), deaf students from various
        emphasis on the following in the next year:                     schools around Victoria, former CEOs and staff from
                                                                        Vicdeaf and many people who receive our services.
        • To better understand the demand for services across
           Victoria and to find the best ways of meeting that            Thank you to those I have met. In all situations everybody
           demand as the community needs change and increase            has been very welcoming and encouraging and if you want
                                                                        to contact me please feel free to contact Vicdeaf.

                                                             To be held on Sunday 16 December at Bundoora Park.
                                                             We would love your suggestions for activities at the
                                                             Rally – please contact either David Peters dpeters@

           XMAS RALLY                               or Di Attard
                                                             with your ideas by the end of July, 2007.

        Hello and welcome to the July/August edition of Communicate. My name is Jennifer Grant and
        I am the new Communications Coordinator at Vicdeaf, replacing Natalie Sandon and Megan Louise.
        I look forward to continuing the great work Natalie has done with Communicate and if you have any
        suggestions for future editions of Communicate, email me at

        We have a lot of exciting events           Vicdeaf will be heavily involved in the   out the next edition of Communicate.
        happening over the next few months.        Herald Sun Careers Expo from 27
                                                                                             It is hard to believe that we are already
        I know of many people who, in July,        – 29 July at the Melbourne Exhibition
                                                                                             more than halfway through the year
        will be heading overseas to Spain          Centre, and the inaugural Excellence
                                                                                             2007 and Christmas is already on our
        for the World Deaf Youth Camp, the         in Auslan Interpreting Awards will be
                                                                                             minds. Make sure you pencil in our
        World Association of Sign Language         held on August 11 at the Sebel Hotel
                                                                                             annual Vicdeaf Christmas Rally in your
        Interpreters International Conference      in Albert Park.
                                                                                             diary – the rally will be held on Sunday
        and the XV World Congress of the           These events will be covered by the       16 December at Bundoora Park.
        World Federation of the Deaf (WFD).        Communicate team, so keep your eyes
                                                                                         JULY/AUGUST 2007 I COMMUNICATE ISSUE 08 03

                                                                                                                           Zoe Pow

Zoe Pow
1. As the face behind the Vicdeaf            messenger) are waiting for you to
Auslan Interpreting Service (VAIS)           respond to their queries, and most of
booking service, can you tell us a           the time it is all urgent.
bit more about what a typical day
                                             Cancelling jobs due to the lack of
is like for you at work?
                                             availability is also probably one of
A typical day in the VAIS office; I’m         the worst parts of the job. No matter
not so sure there is such a thing!           how many times you have to do it, it
Each day is full of surprises and            never gets any easier.
you can never determine how the
                                             5. I understand you recently
day may turn out. Our daily tasks
                                             passed your para professional
generally include dealing with
                                             Auslan interpreter qualifications
enquires regarding the service,
                                             – congratulations! Will you be
liaising with staff, interpreters, clients
                                             doing any interpreting work?
and the general public, and of course
filling as many bookings as possible.         Yes. I have started some freelance
                                             work and I am now working in the
2. How long have you been in
this job for?
In June it will be two years.                “Also I have gained an extensive insight into
3. What are the best things about            the interpreting ‘world’ which has been great
your job?
As much as working in the VAIS
                                             preparation for me as a newly qualified interpreter “
office is a stressful job there are many
positive aspects to the role. Primarily      VAIS office Monday to Thursday
the fantastic team that I work with,         leaving Fridays for interpreting work.
everyone is great!
It is also very rewarding when you
                                             6. How did you become interested         AUSLAN
                                             in Auslan?
have been working on a particular
booking, bending over backwards
                                             In 2002 I was managing a clothing        FIRE ALARM
                                             store in the city, one day a deaf lady
in the hope of finding someone
                                             came in selling cards (fundraising)
available, then at last minute another
                                             with the alphabet in Auslan on them.
request cancels that had been filled                                                   The deadline has been
                                             After purchasing one, this then
and the interpreter becomes available
                                             sparked an interest in learning the      extended!
for the booking you’ve been working
                                             language. I enrolled into a six week
on. It’s funny how the universe works                                                 And it is available to both
                                             introductory course and started some
in some ways!                                                                         Auslan and profoundly deaf
                                             volunteer work, which then lead to
Also I have gained an extensive              part time classes at Kangan Batman       oral adults!
insight into the interpreting ‘world’        tafe. After one year of part time
                                                                                      For more information
which has been great preparation for         classes, I found I was not grasping
me as a newly qualified interpreter           the language and decided to apply
4. The worst?                                for the two year ‘Diploma of Auslan’     Or contact Meg Aumann:
                                             which I completed in June 2005.
The stress! The key to this job is the
ability to multi-task. At any given          7. What things do you enjoy
                                                                                      TTY: 03 9473 1199
point you could be on the phone, the         outside work?
                                                                                      Phone: 03 9473 1111
TTY then rings, somebody walks in            Yoga, meditation, discovering new        Fax: 03 9473 1122
needing to see you and at the same           yummy places to eat and spending
time three people on MSN (instant            time with friends and family!

        Team Profi le:VAIS
        What services does the Vicdeaf Auslan Interpreting
        Service (VAIS) offer?
        Vicdeaf Auslan and Interpreting Service (VAIS) offers both Auslan
        Interpreting and Auslan Classes. We are the largest interpreting
        agency in Victoria and employ over 100 Level 2 and Level 3
        Interpreters. We provide interpreting for a wide variety of services
        including court and police sessions, community and education
        services, meetings, medical appointments and counselling.
        Our Auslan Department provides a range of classes –                    • Access Economics – National Research into Interpreter
        Community Auslan 1/2/3, Corporate Auslan and Auslan Short               Remuneration
        Courses. We employ 20 Deaf Teachers and teach up to 20                 • Graduate Interpreter Program – commenced February 2007
        classes per term, in both metropolitan and regional Victoria.
                                                                               • Excellence in Auslan Interpreting Awards – Aug to August
        Who does what at VAIS?
                                                                               • VRI trial with Royal Women’s Hospital
        Marc Curtis – Manager                                                   – commenced February 2007
        Zoe Pow – Senior Booking Officer
        Mim Morgan – Booking Officer                                            • Vicdeaf Stand at the Herald Sun Careers Expo
        James Blyth – Auslan Team Leader                                        – July 27 – 29, 2007
        Jodie Boyd – Enrolments Coordinator
                                                                               Future VAIS projects?
        Sasha Hough – Enrolments Coordinator
        Karina Quinn – Graduate Interpreter / Booking Officer                   Funding has been agreed for Vicdeaf to set up a Deaf
        Emma Snow – Graduate Interpreter                                       Services Network. This will be a high speed Internet service
        Mark Quinn – Interpreter                                               that is capable of providing the highest quality Video Relay
        Meredith Bartlett – Interpreter                                        Interpreting Service. This will change the face of interpreting
        Cheryl Sandilands – Interpreter                                        nation wide, and is expected to be set up over four years.
        Teresa Cumpston Bird – Interpreter
                                                                               Best thing about VAIS?
        Sandi Leane – Interpreter
        Kim Saxton – Interpreter                                               We employ the best team of staff and Interpreters. It is an
        Louise Gavin – Para-Professional Interpreter                           honour to manage such a great group of committed individuals.
        Pauline Lillie – Para-Professional Interpreter
                                                                               Who can use VAIS?
        Where does VAIS get funding from?
                                                                               Anyone who needs an interpreter or Auslan classes can use VAIS.
        VAIS receives no funding; we are a full fee for service business.
                                                                               How can people contact VAIS?
        Current VAIS projects?
                                                                               Interpreting:                Auslan:
        • Interpreter Mentor Program – commenced January 2007
                                                                               V: 03 9473 1117/8            V: 03 9473 1135
        • Access Economics – National Research into the Shortage of            TTY: 03 9473 1143            TTY: 03 9473 1143
          Auslan Interpreters – commencing June 2007                           Fax: 03 9473 1144            Fax: 03 9473 1144

        Excellence in Auslan Interpreting Awards:
        For the first time in Victoria, stakeholders in Auslan interpreting will be able to come together
        annually at a prestigious, high profile industry-wide Awards event.

        The Awards will be an opportunity to recognise
        and celebrate the important contributions made by
        Auslan Interpreters, interpreting agencies, employers
        and their role to improve communication access for
        Deaf people and the wider community.
        It is expected the inaugural Awards event will
        also provide the springboard to form an Auslan
        interpreting industry body with representation
        from key stakeholders. One of the key objectives
        of this industry body will be to focus the spotlight
        on Auslan and Auslan interpreters, interpreting
        agencies, employers, the Deaf and wider community
        in Victoria through an annual Awards event.
                                                                                            JULY/AUGUST 2007 I COMMUNICATE ISSUE 08 05

Interpreter Task Force 2006/2007
In April 2006 the Victorian Deaf Society Board set up an Interpreter’s Task Force to investigate the
critical shortage of Auslan Interpreters in Victoria. This included a review of the status of Auslan
interpreting and to make recommendations to increase the number of available Auslan Interpreters.

In December 2006 the Task Force           Vicdeaf Interpreter Sponsorship           National Research into the
finalised a list of recommendations to     Program:                                  Shortage of Auslan Interpreters:
address the shortage of interpreters.
                                          At present, there are plenty of para      In early 2006, Senior Management
The list was put to the Vicdeaf Board
                                          professional (level two) interpreters     and Board agreed that a major
and approved. This will cost Vicdeaf
                                          and not enough Professional (level        national review of the current
over $100,000, a considerable
                                          three) interpreters. The Task Force       workforce and working conditions
investment into the future of
                                          implemented a training program            of Auslan Interpreters was needed.
interpreting. Most recommendations
                                          for 2007 to give a select group           This review would enable us to better
are to be implemented in 2007 and
                                          of high level para professional           understand the key underlying issues
beyond. Below are several initiatives
                                          interpreters with training and support    of the overall supply shortage. The
that will be taking place this year:
                                          to undertake the professional level       study’s aim would be to analyse
Herald Sun Melbourne Career               exam.                                     current demand and supply of Auslan
Expo:                                                                               interpreting services and project
                                          The aim of this program is to
                                                                                    likely future demand and supply.
This year, the Victorian Deaf Society     have five more professional level
                                                                                    Recommendations and possible
will operate a stand at the expo,         interpreters by the end of September
                                                                                    solutions would be developed to
showcasing Vicdeaf’s services. The        2007.
                                                                                    address long-term demand and
main focus will be on interpreting,
                                          Auslan Interpreter Mentorship             supply concerns and to create
with information on how to become
                                          Program:                                  consistency of conditions across the
an interpreter and the career
prospects. We will also promote our       The Auslan Interpreting Mentorship
other services, in particular Vicdeaf’s   Program was first created in early         The Task Force commissioned Access
employment service: SensWide.             2006. The programme provides a            Economics – a reputable economic
                                          professional avenue for inexperienced     research consultancy firm to
This is the first time Vicdeaf is
                                          and/or new graduates to utilise           undertake the national study. At the
involved in a large expo. We hope
                                          coaching, direction, de-briefing and       same time, the Task Force approached
our presence will provide maximum
                                          guidance.                                 FaCSIA (Family and Community
exposure and promote Auslan and
                                                                                    Services and Indigenous Affairs) to
Auslan Interpreting.                      In late 2006, a group of professional
                                                                                    see if they would possibly fund the
                                          level interpreters undertook a
                                                                                    proposal. FaCSIA was already aware
                                          weekend of mentoring training.
                                                                                    of the plight of the interpreting
                                          The training was provided by the
                                                                                    industry and were the logical choice
                                          Australian Institute of Management
                                                                                    to request funding.
                                          and was tailored to the specific needs
                                          of the interpreting industry.             In early March 2007, FaCSIA agreed
                                                                                    to fully fund the research which is to
                                          The program began in January 2007.
                                                                                    take place from April to September
                                          Fifteen interpreters were matched
                                                                                    2007. Furthermore, Access Economics
                                          and are now undertaking monthly
Auslan Interpreter Graduate                                                         will also undertake research in
                                          mentoring meetings.
Program:                                                                            Interpreter remuneration. This will
                                          Interpreters have for years suggested     be separate to the initial research
In February 2007, Vicdeaf employed        there was a need for a formal             and will focus on the way in which
two part-time Graduate Auslan             mentoring program. Vicdeaf is proud       Interpreters are paid nationally. The
Interpreters. The Task Force              to provide the first such program,         remuneration research will be funded
recognised there was a need for           and must make mention of one              by Deafness Foundation. This is the
Graduate Interpreters to be employed      Interpreter in particular: Sandi Leane.   first time that such an extensive study
in an environment that would              She almost single handedly set up         will be undertaken with regards to
enhance their skills at a rapid pace.     the project while working two days a      interpreting. It is hoped that the
The program has been successfully         week at Vicdeaf. Well done Sandi and      research recommendations will have
operating for three months with           thank you.                                a profound effect on the interpreting
excellent feedback. Vicdeaf hopes                                                   industry.
to employ two new graduate
interpreters every year.

     Deaf Service Providers in Victoria This table explains the different roles of Deaf Services Providers in Victoria. This has been compiled with                                                    th
                              Victorian Deaf Society (Vicdeaf)                             deaf access Victoria                                                      Victorian Council of
                                                                                                                                                                     Deaf People Inc (VCOD)
      When established?       1884                                                         1998                                                                      1982
      Mission & vision        VISION: Vicdeaf... Leading the Way in Social Justice         deaf access VICTORIA aims to fulfil its goals by:                          VISION: A Voice for Deaf Victorian
      statement               and Equity for Deaf and hard of hearing people.              Assisting community organisations and services to work more               MISSION: Victorian Council of Dea
                              MISSION: Vicdeaf aims to improve the quality of life         effectively with deaf and hard of hearing people                           is a non-profit organisation led an
                              for deaf people*. It does this by:                           Raising awareness in the local community about the issues and             Deaf people through provision of a
                              1. Breaking down communication barriers and                  needs of deaf and hard of hearing people                                  and information services to strengt
                                 improving access to services.                                                                                                       community participation and qualit
                                                                                           Providing information relating to deafness or hearing loss to:            for Deaf Victorians.
                              2. Increasing the status and participation of deaf           deaf and hard of hearing people, their families or carers, as well
                                 people in society.                                        as to services that work with deaf and hard of hearing people,
                              3. Providing specialist support and community                and to the general community
      Who funds this          Vicdeaf is a non-profit organisation that receives            Victorian government, Department of Human Services                        Victorian government, Department
      organisation?           approximately 45% of its operating costs from state                                                                                    Services
                              and federal governments. The remaining 55% of
                              operational funding is derived from the Society’s
                              fundraising initiatives and service fees where applicable.
      What services does      Vicdeaf is the primary source of reference, referral,        deaf access VICTORIA has offices situated in five rural                     VCOD provides advocacy and infor
      this organisation       advice and support for deaf adults in Victoria.              communities in Victoria :                                                 services in addressing the needs of
      provide?                                                                                                                                                       Victorians.
                              Services include:                                            •   Geelong
                              Client Services (Case Management, Independent                •   Gippsland
                              Living Skills, Counselling and Duty worker), the             •   Grampians                                                             All staff are Auslan proficient.
                              Victorian Auslan and Interpreting Service (VAIS),            •   Hume
                              SensWide employment service, hearservice Audiology,          •   Loddon Mallee
                              Rehabilitation and Information.                              These workers plan and develop projects in many areas,
                                                                                           access and advocacy planning; accommodation and housing;
                                                                                           communication, Information and interpreting; community
                                                                                           awareness, education and training; sport, recreation and the
                                                                                           arts; and transport.
      Who can use these       Deaf and hard of hearing Victorians, general                 Deaf and hard of hearing people, service providers, community             It is open to members of Deaf com
      services?               community groups and organisations.                          groups, community organisations                                           and the public. It is open for anyon
                                                                                                                                                                     to know about Deaf and its Comm
                                                                                                                                                                     members and general VCOD is a st
                                                                                                                                                                     affiliated with Australian Associatio
      What facilities are     The John Michael Lovett Community Centre is available        varies from office to office                                                N/A
      available? (eg. Meet-   to use during business hours and after hours.
      ing rooms for use by
      community free of       The Community Centre can be used by many different
      charge)                 groups in the Deaf and hard of hearing communities
                              for events and fundraising.
      Key staff.              We have a Board of Directors, CEO and Management             The day worker in each region is the key contact for that region          VCOD is managed by a Manager a
                              team as well as a great team of highly efficient and                                                                                    Administration Officer who reports
                              well trained staff.                                                                                                                    Board.
                              President-Mac Adam
                              CEO-Graeme Kelly

      Contact details         Address: Level 4, 340 Albert St, East Melbourne,             Barwon-South Western Region                                               Address: 597 St Kilda Road, Melbo
      Where can I find this    3002                                                         (Includes Camperdown, Colac, Geelong, Hamilton & Portland)
                                                                                                                                                                     Postal Address: PO Box 6186, St K
                              TTY: (03) 9473 1199 Ph: (03) 9473 1111                       Address: mpower, 71 Koroit St, PO Box 269, Warnambool 3280                Central, Melbourne 3004
      How do I get there?     Fax: (03) 9473 1122 Email:               Voice: 03 5561 8111 TTY: 1300 363 559 Fax: 03 5561 8100                   TTY: 03 9521 2466 Fax: 03 9525
                              Opening hours: 9am – 5pm, Monday to Friday                   Email:                               Email: Manager -
      What are the opening                                                                                                                                           Email: Administration Officer – ad
      hours?                  Travelling by car: Street parking is limited to              Gippsland Region
                              between 1 and 2hrs, coins required for meters.               (Includes Bairnsdale, Mallacoota, Phillip Island, Traralgon & Warragul)

      Is there car parking    CLEARWAY TIMES APPLY. CARS WILL BE TOWED.                    Address: Suite 3/398 Bass Court, Raymond Street, Sale 3850                Opening hours: VCOD operates d
      or public transport                                                                                                                                            business hours.
                              DISABLED PARKING PERMIT HOLDERS – 2 SPACES                   Voice: 03 5143 1537 TTY: 03 5143 1537 Fax: 03 5143 1814
      available?                                                                                                                                                     Travelling by public transport: Tra
                              AT FRONT OF BUILDING                                         Email:
                                                                                                                                                                     (get off corner St Kilda and High St
                              Travelling by Public Transport                               Grampians Region
                                                                                           (Includes Bacchus Marsh, Edenhope, Hopetoun, Kaniva & St Arnaud)          Travelling by car: Car Park availab
                              Trains: through the City Loop get off at Parliament                                                                                    Children Australia, entry from High
                              Station, exit at the Lonsdale/Nicholson Street exit          Horsham Office
                              and walk away from the City along Albert St towards          Address: Community Axis, 22 McLachlan St, Horsham 3400
                                                                                           Voice: 03 5381 1622 TTY: 1300 366 358 Fax: 03 5381 1562
                              Trams: 109, 112, 24, stop outside the Eye & Ear              Email:
                              Hospital (Tram Stop # 11) get off and walk away from
                              the City along Albert Street                                 Hume Region
                                                                                           (Includes Benalla, Bright, Seymour, Shepparton, and Wodonga)
                              Buses: 301, 302, 308 309, 313, 315, 350, 402
                                                                                           Address: Suite 2, Tara Crt, Ford St,Wangaratta VIC 3677 or PO
                                                                                           Box 122, Wangaratta 3676
                                                                                           Voice: 1300 302 335, 03 5722 9175
                                                                                           TTY: 1300 302 325, 03 5722 9451 Fax: 03 5722 9175
                                                                                           Loddon Mallee Region
                                                                                           (includes Echuca, Gisborne, Maryborough, Mildura & Swan Hill)
                                                                                           Address: 100 Barnard Street, PO Box 126, Bendigo 3552
                                                                                           Voice: 1300 650 175, 03 5454 6445 TTY: 1300 650 185
                                                                                           Fax: 03 5441 1279 Email:
      More information                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                JULY/AUGUST 2007 I COMMUNICATE ISSUE 08 07

 h       the goal to provide you with a better understanding of which organisation you should approach for a specific service.
                           Deaf Children Australia                                          Able Australia                                      Australian Sign Language Assoc.
OD)                                                                                                                                             (ASLIA), Victoria Inc.
                           1860                                                             1967                                                1986
 Victorians                VISION: ‘deafness is no barrier’                                 VISION: Creating a community where                  MISSION: to promote awareness and
ncil of Deaf Peopl         MISSION: to respond to the needs of deaf and hearing             people with multiple disabilities including         recognition of the rights and responsibilities of
 on led and managed        impaired children, young people and their families: providing    deafblindness are seen, heard, respected,           Auslan interpreters.
vision of advocacy         information, advocacy, support services and educational          valued and connected.                               The Association also strives to advocate and
to strengthen              resources.                                                       MISSION: Able Australia’s mission is to             foster the continuing education of all who are
and quality of life                                                                         reach out to people with multiple disabilities      working in the field
                                                                                            including deafblindness, supporting them in
                                                                                            achieving self-fulfilment and connection with
                                                                                            the greater community.

epartment of Human         As a not-for-profit organisation, services are made possible      The organisation is partly government funded        Membership fees
                           with the support of volunteers, the community, businesses        and relies heavily on fundraising activities and
                           and government grants.                                           bequests and major gifts.

 and information           Services include:                                                Able Australia supports people living with          The Australian Sign Language Interpreters of
 needs of Deaf             • Information,                                                   multiple disabilities including deafblindness       Victoria (ASLIA Vic) is a professional body that
                           • parent advocacy, and education,                                through various services.                           represents the needs and interests of Auslan
                           • community development,                                         Services include:                                   (Australian Sign Language) Interpreters.

 ient.                     • mentoring, family services and skills training;                •   Able Deafblind Services,                        ASLIA Vic plays an important role in initiating
                           • language and communication,                                    •   Able Respite Services,                          and/or providing the majority of professional
                           • physiotherapy, speech pathology, audiology, psychology and     •   Able Living residential accommodation,          development for sign language interpreters in
                             Auslan tuition;                                                •   Able Lifestyle Choices,                         Victoria.
                           • independent living skills training,
                                                                                            •   Ablelink communication centre
                           • recreation activities and camps,
                                                                                            •   Able Music Therapy.
                           • free phone helpline; events for families and young deaf
                           • free publications and online discussion group for parents on
 Deaf community            Families of deaf and hearing impaired children; the              Able Australia services are available to people     All ASLIA members, and others interested in
 for anyone wanting        community.                                                       living with combined disabilities including         furthering the profession of interpreting
 its Community. Deaf                                                                        deafblindness of all ages, depending on the
 OD is a state branch                                                                       service.
 Association of the Deaf
                           Grounds can be hired for events.                                 There are several services available throughout     N/A
                           Please contact                        Melbourne and Tasmania to Able Australia
                                                                                            Service Users. It is envisaged that Able
                                                                                            Lifestyle Choices will be accessible to the local
                                                                                            community in due time.

Manager and an             CEO – Damian Lacey                                               CEO – Mrs Celestine Hare.                           President – Cynthia Cave
ho reports to the VCOD     Deputy CEO – Veronica Pardo                                      President – Peter Lidstrom                          (presently taking leave of absence)
                           General Manager – Gene Reardon                                   Able Australia Patron – Peter Hitchener             Vice President – Sandra Leane
                                                                                            (Channel Nine News)                                 (presently taking on the President’s role)
                                                                                                                                                Secretary – Kylie Scott (lives in NT)
                                                                                                                                                Treasurer – Meredith Bartlett
 ad, Melbourne 3004        Address: 597 St Kilda Road, Melbourne 3004                       Able Australia’s services are located throughout    Email:
 6186, St Kilda Rd         Postal address: PO Box 6466, St Kilda Road Central,              Melbourne with one service facility in Tasmania.    Ph: 0402 888 560
4                          Melbourne, Victoria 8008                                         Head Office                                          ASLIA Vic meets at Vicdeaf monthly usually in
  03 9525 2595             Phone: 03 9539 5300 Fax: 03 9525 2595 TTY: 03 9510 7143          616 Riversdale Road, Camberwell 3124                the JML Centre.                Helpline: 1800 645 916 Email:           Able Australia Services: 616 Riversdale Road,       To borrow from the library or use our facilities
 ficer – admin@vcod.        Opening hours: 9am-5pm Monday to Friday                          Camberwell 3124.                                    you must contact a committee member first.
                           Car parking and public transport available                       Ph: 1300225369 Fax: 98829210,                       ASLIA Vic provides information via email from
operates during                                                                             Email:                    the secretary ( or people
                           For information, support and referrals, please contact Deaf
                           Children Australia’s free call Helpline on Ph: 1800 645 916,     Opening hours: 9am until 5pm Monday to              can phone and leave a message for us to
nsport: Tram number 6      TTY: 1800 508 523 or email:        Friday.                                             contact them
nd High Street)
                           Available Australia-wide, Monday to Friday                       For details on the other services locations and
ark available at Deaf      from 10am to 4pm (EST).                                          contact details please contact Head Office.
from High St
                                                                                            An Able DVD including a documentary about
                                                                                            living with deafblindness and combined
                                                                                            disabilities is bring produced as we speak and is
                                                                                            due to be completed by the end of May 2007.


        Jonesy – the hearing dog                                             By Jennifer Grant

        An overview of getting to know Jonesy and the
        first week of work at Vicdeaf with a hearing dog                                                                     Jonesy. Photo source:
                                                                                                                          Lions Hearing Dogs Inc.

        The Knowing                                smoke alarm and I will then be able to
        I was asked a strange question when        lead both of us to safety if need be.
        I rang Lions Hearing Dogs office a few
                                                   Aside from the regular ‘sound
        months ago. ‘What type of fencing
                                                   awareness’ training sessions, we made
        do you have at home?’ I gave them
                                                   a number of visits to my local shops
        my answer. Then I heard the words
                                                   and supermarkets to help increase
        I had been waiting a long time for
                                                   awareness about hearing dogs, and
        – your dog is almost ready to be
                                                   also so that I could learn the do’s and
        delivered to you and you should
                                                   don’ts with Jonesy when I am out and      I have already noticed some
        get him by mid May.
                                                   about. Jonesy was registered with my      unexpected positives when I am on
        The dog’s name was Jonesy; a 3 ½           local council; a number of trips were     a tram or train with Jonesy. I often
        year old Kelpie/Fox terrier. The first      made on trams and trains and we           catch people looking at Jonesy and
        time I saw a picture of him, I fell        even dropped by my work, Vicdeaf.         they will have a little smile on their
        in love with his trusting eyes. He                                                   face. It makes me feel good traveling
                                                   By Friday, both Jonesy and I were very
        was going to be my ‘ears’, my loyal                                                  on public transport as I very rarely do
                                                   tired. Jonesy has had a massive week
        companion and friend. Everywhere I                                                   see people smile. It is true that dogs
                                                   – first trip on a plane, getting used to
        went, he was going to be with me.                                                    (and animals) can help have a calming
                                                   Melbourne and its sounds, travelling
                                                                                             and positive effect on humans. At
        Our First Week Together                    on public transport and getting
                                                                                             least Jonesy is helping brighten up
        Delivery week and training                 used to his new owner – me! The
                                                                                             other people’s moods on a normally
                                                   weekend was used to relax and
        It was a very full on week, not only for                                             sullen trip.
                                                   prepare ourselves for our first week
        Jonesy but for myself. Jonesy has had
                                                   at Vicdeaf together.                      At the time of writing this article,
        seven months of intensive training
                                                                                             we have only had our few first days
        with the Lions Hearing Dogs in South       Week two
                                                                                             together at Vicdeaf, but Jonesy is
        Australia. Mary Knight was his trainer     First week at Vicdeaf
                                                                                             already helping me. Because of my
        and she came over to Melbourne with
                                                   As I have Usher Syndrome, my              limited vision, often, when waiting
        Jonesy to help us settle together in
                                                   main method of travel is by public        for one of the two lift doors at the
        our new lives.
                                                   transport. Every work day morning,        office to open, one door may open
        Each day, Jonesy and I learnt how          Jonesy and I will be catching a tram      and close without me realising it. So,
        to work with each other – the most         to a nearby train station, travel by      when we wait together and a door
        important part of this process was the     express train to Parliament Station and   opens Jonesy is able to lead me to the
        ‘sound awareness’ training. Jonesy         then a quick walk from the station to     open door.
        had to learn to let me know that a         our offices on Albert Street.
                                                                                             I am very privileged to have a hearing
        sound was happening by touching me
                                                   Our very first journey had a hiccup        dog. A hearing dog is not a normal
        with his paws, and then lead me to
                                                   right at the beginning, the tram didn’t   pet dog. There is a greater deal of
        the sound. Once he has reached the
                                                   stop for us, thank goodness the           responsibility with having a hearing
        source of the sound, he is to sit and
                                                   next tram did and the journey went        dog. I feel it is like having a little child
        look at the direction of the sound and
                                                   smoothly from there on. I have since      with me. I always have to think about
        then I am to praise and reward him
                                                   rung the tram depot to alert them to      Jonesy and now plan each day to
        for helping me. I had to learn how
                                                   hearing dog access rights.                meet both of our needs.
        to ‘interpret’ Jonesy and encourage
        him to help me. This process will take
        about 3 months of training before we
        are able to totally rely on each other.
        Carnegie Lions Club is my sponsor           WHAT ARE LIONS HEARING DOGS?
        club and they will support me by
        visiting and practicing the sounds          Lions Hearing dogs are dogs who have been trained specifically to be their
        with Jonesy and myself.                     deaf owner’s ears. These dogs are identified by the bright orange collar
        For Jonesy to alert me and respond          and lead and are trained to react to normal household sounds such as
        to a smoke alarm, it is different than      the telephone ringing, smoke alarm; door bell or knock; whistling kettle; a
        responding to other ‘sounds’. Instead
                                                    baby crying, and the list goes on.
        of touching me and then leading me
        to the sound, Jonesy has to touch me        Hearing Dogs have the same access rights to all public places as guide dogs.
        and then drop and stay. This will allow
        me to identify that the sound is the        For more information –
                                                                                             JULY/AUGUST 2007 I COMMUNICATE ISSUE 08 09

Leanne Van Opijnen

On 1 January, 2007, the Department of Employment
Workplace Relations released funding for a new program
called the Auslan For Employment Program (AFE).
This program has been funded until 30 June, 2010.

This program offers three levels of support to Deaf
workers and their colleagues. You and your employer can        Leanne Van Opijnen
access this funding directly.                                  and Aaron Creswell

It is important to understand the guidelines when
considering applying for this funding. The Government          3. Certificate II in Auslan (nationally recognised)
has decided that the following definitions are used when        This level will provide initial support for co-workers of
making an application for assistance under AFE.                the Deaf worker/s to commence accredited Certificate II
Deaf New Worker: means a Deaf worker who at the                Auslan. Again the purpose of this training is to assist co-
time of applying for the funding has been employed for         workers in understanding the needs of the Deaf worker
less than six months in their current position. As a ‘new      and assist with communicating in the workplace.
worker’ you are able to access all three levels of support.    Certificate II in Auslan will only be approved once for each
It is easier as a new worker because the Government            Deaf worker per workplace.
believes it is during this time you will need more support.
                                                               The total funded amount for the year 2006 – 2007 is
Deaf Existing Worker: means a Deaf worker who has              $700.00 per worker per workplace.
been employed for more than six months AND is ‘at risk’,
for example, a worker who needs support due to change          If you would like to learn more about this program
in duties or career progression. As an existing worker it is   please have a look at:
harder to access the three levels of support.         and follow links to Auslan for
These three levels are as follows:                             Employment Program. If you are registered with
                                                               SensWide Services your employment consultant will
1. Interpreting in workplace                                   help you access the program.
Can be used for induction; occupational health and
safety; skill acquisition such as on the job training or
external training; human resources including conflict
resolution, performance review and meetings. Following
is an example of the guidelines used to determine how             COMMUNITY NEWS
many hours of support a Deaf worker can access.
                                                                  Deepest condolences to the family of Wyndham
             Worker hours     Maximum allowance of
             per week         Auslan Interpreting
                                                                  Cooper, OAM

Group1       30 + hours       22                                  14/01/1928 – 07/04/2007
Group 2      20 – 29 hours    18                                  He will be missed by all in the Deaf Community
Group 3      8 – 19 hours     14                                  Do you know where he is?
                                                                  Anthony Valatiadis, a deaf man from Sydney is looking
                                                                  for a Colin Williamson. The two of them grew up
2. Deafness Awareness Training for Co-workers
                                                                  together and Anthony would really like to get in touch
The purpose of such training is to assist co-workers              with him. Are you able to help?
in understanding Deaf culture and strategies to assist            Contact:
communicating with a Deaf worker. The training can only
                                                                  Pen Pals wanted
be delivered by trainers who are nationally accredited in
the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment AND are              A 41 year old male who has a love for his cat, travel,
Deaf OR have completed a nationally recognised module             movies, music and being involved with his community
in Deaf culture studies.                                          church is looking for pen pals. He lives in Gippsland,
                                                                  Victoria; is Deaf and has a physical disability. He does
Deafness awareness training will only be approved once
                                                                  not smoke or drink and is a quiet person. He would
for each Deaf worker per workplace.
                                                                  love to hear from anyone especially deaf females
The total funded amount for the year 2006 – 2007 is               between the ages of 30 to 43 years old and will accept
$370.00 per worker per workplace.                                 him for who he is. Contact:

        ...continued from page 1

        Many questions were raised                There is a sub-committee for Deaf   for more
        from the audience on the style            Relay Interpreters in Melbourne              information.
        of interpreting Robert used, the          who meet every month to discuss
                                                                                               Information on Deaf Relay
        title of Deaf interpreters – should       about relay interpreting, training,
                                                                                               Interpreters can also be found at
        it be ‘Deaf Interpreter’ or ‘Deaf         workshops and information sharing.
                                                                                               ASLIA Vic’s website at:
        Relay Interpreter’? And there was         If you have been trained as a Deaf
        discussion about the accreditation        Relay Interpreter and interested to be
        system for Deaf interpreters.             involved in the sub-committee then
                                                  contact Ross Onley-Zerkel who is on
        NABS recently introduced
                                                  ASLIA committee.                             Trisha Dench (Balharrie) is currently
        accreditation testing for Deaf Relay                                                   studying for her Bachelor of Education in
        interpreters in Australia. This means     There will be a course for Deaf Relay        LOTE (Auslan) at Latrobe University and
        Deaf interpreters can qualify for work    Interpreters in July – contact Meredith      the focus of her studies this year is on the
        at various Deaf-related organisations.    Bartlett at Vicdeaf Auslan Interpreting      linguistic aspects of Auslan. She is also a
        This accreditation testing will happen    Service on 0411 187 189 (SMS) or             qualified Deaf Relay Interpreter.
        in Melbourne in August.

        Media Access Australia has been conducting a series of information sessions on
        captioning quality and what to do if you receive poor quality captions.

        The quality of captioning can depend on where you live,         Problems to complain about include:
        what sort of equipment you use to receive captions and
                                                                        •   No captions on a news or prime-time program.
        problems with transmission of captions from television
        stations.                                                       •   Segments not captioned on a news or
                                                                            prime-time program.
        “It is important to note that TV                                •   Captions not synchronised with the audio (or what is
        networks are only responsible for                                   being said on screen).
        transmitting captions. It is up to                              •   Live captions with so many errors you can’t
                                                                            understand them.
        viewers to ensure they have proper
                                                                        •   Captions that are too fast to read.
        equipment to receive captions.”
                                                                        •   Captions with too many incorrect spellings.
        Sometimes a program that should be captioned has no             How can I complain?
        captions on it, or is only partly captioned. Sometimes
        captions have mistakes, they may not match what is being        •   Ring or TTY the TV station immediately.
        said, or they are too fast. They should not obscure people’s    •   Formally complain to a TV station – each station has
        mouths or other important information on the screen.                different complaints methods.
                                                                        •   Use MAA’s online automated complaint form
        When should I complain about captions?                              –
        Common reception problems include captions dropping             •   If you don’t get a satisfactory response, you can complain
        out, jumbled up, missing letters, different heights, constant       to the Australian Communication and Media Authority
        spelling mistakes and the entire screen going black.                (ACMA ). This is the government
                                                                            body that looks after television.
        Generally, if you are having consistent problems receiving
        captions on numerous stations, it shows that you have a
        reception issue and you should retune your television or
        investigate whether there are problems with your aerial.
        For advice on how to identify and fix reception problems,
                                                                        If you need help or advice on
        see MAA’s brochure, “If you have trouble hearing, why not       captioning issues, on cinema and
        watch captions?”                                                DVD or television, you can contact
                                                                        Media Access Australia on Ph/TTY
                                                                        (02) 9212 6242 or email info@
                                                                                              JULY/AUGUST 2007 I COMMUNICATE ISSUE 08 11

Congratulations to Fiona Goldab who was recently awarded a
Certificate of Merit from Playgroup Victoria for her outstanding
commitment to Signee Tots playgroup. Fiona was nominated by
Karli Dettman, the Family Support Co-ordinator/Counseller at John
Pierce Centre. Read on to learn more about Signee Tots and Fiona’s
involvement with this unique playgroup.

Signee Tots was established in 1998 for deaf and hearing        has had two more
children up to the age of four years old who have at least      children. She plays a
one Deaf parent. It is a playgroup that was set up by three     huge part in Signee                           Fiona Goldab

hearing parents already involved in the Deaf community          Tots, helping organise
- Karen Clare, Fran Barton-Smith and Erin Cook - with           activities. Such
support from John Pierce Centre, especially Bernadette          activities include craft making, cooking, storytelling and
Wallis.                                                         going on regular outings to indoor playground centres and
                                                                parks. She was also elected as secretary and carried out this
The aim of Signee Tots is to enable children to interact with
                                                                role for a few years.
others in a semi-structured program which encourages the
use of Auslan and visual communication. It was recognised       Recently, Fiona took time off from this position to enable
that it is important for children to learn age appropriate      her to spend more time with her family but she continues
language and have Auslan role models.                           to support the group performing various duties, fundraising
                                                                and supporting other volunteers within Signee Tots to
Playgroup is all about giving babies and young children
                                                                ensure that the group is able to continue to function
time to play and interact with others. Signee Tots is
                                                                effectively. She plans to continue to be an active member
unique. There are no other playgroups in Victoria that
                                                                of this group for some time as her youngest child; Daniel
cater specifically for the needs of Deaf or hearing families
                                                                is only 17 months old. When Fiona’s children ‘outgrow’
wishing to encourage their child to learn Auslan as a first
                                                                Signee Tots, she hopes to return to the workforce in a
or second language. The children primarily communicate
                                                                rewarding job that enables her to balance work with her
in Auslan as this provides a great opportunity for them to
                                                                children’s needs and development.
develop their language skills. Signee Tots playgroup also
gives opportunities for Deaf parents to meet other parents,     Receiving this award is one of Fiona’s proudest moments
to share and learn about their experiences with their babies    with Signee Tots. It is an honour for her, and a time she
and children.                                                   has enjoyed and cherished especially watching her children
                                                                utilise Auslan, grow and develop long lasting friendships
Fiona has been involved with Signee Tots since the birth
                                                                with other children.
of her eldest daughter, Alana in 2000 and since then she

CALL QUEUING TO                                                 The Relay Service has introduced call queuing to help
                                                                users, and save them the bother of redialing.
BEGIN AT NATIONAL                                               “This will stop the frustration of having to hang up and
                                                                redial,” Relay Service Education and Information Manager,
RELAY SERVICE                                                   Sue Anne Randazzo said.
                                                                “Instead, users will be able to wait and make a connection
Call queuing will help manage the flow                           with a Relay Officer (RO) as soon as their turn comes.”
of calls to the Relay Service and make life                     If there are no ROs available, a message will pop up asking
easier for NRS users.                                           the caller to hold until the first available relay officer.
                                                                “Users won’t have to wait very long for a relay officer – if
It’s easy to dial the National Relay Service to make a call
                                                                they wait, they won’t have to pay for a second call,” Sue
– but sometimes because of a surge in demand, all of
                                                                Anne said.
our relay officers become busy. When this happens, some
users can’t get through.                                        “We handle more than 500,000 calls a year, and call
                                                                queuing is just a helpful addition to the National Relay
This doesn’t happen very often – less than once in twenty
                                                                Service,” Sue Anne said.
calls. At present, if there’s no relay staff immediately
available, the screen just shows up as engaged and you          As at present, emergency callers will get immediate priority
hang up or disconnect.                                          and will only very rarely have to queue.
                                    BOARD PROFILE:
                                    CRAIG RATTRAY
                                    Following on from Craig and his wife Barbara’s sponsorship
                                    of Vicdeaf some 4 years ago Craig was invited to join the
                                    Board of Vicdeaf.

Craig’s background i l d many
C i ’ b k          d includes             With an open mind to the future of         have a broad understanding of the
years in the financial industry and for    Vicdeaf, Craig pointed out that he         issues and challenges faced by the
the last 12 years has been a director     would like to see Vicdeaf become           Deaf community, along with a clear
of United Advertising. Craig also has     more efficient, focused and well            solution as to how anyone can be of
business interests in Thailand and        positioned to capitalise on any            assistance.”
property interests in Tasmania where      opportunities, and to expand on the
he also enjoys spending time sailing      services and assistance we provide
and trying to catch a trout with a fly     to the Deaf Community. He also
rod that he is sure must be broken!       added “I would like all Victorians to

Update from hearservice
As you may be aware, hearservice has been undergoing some changes recently.
Staff and management have reviewed hearservice’s               services to clients as we always have, focusing on our
vision to define our direction: striving to improve the         strong community roots.
communication of people with hearing impairments
                                                               We are still very much in business and have recently
through the provision of independent and holistic hearing
                                                               welcomed our new hearservice manager, Julie Andrews to
services. We aim to offer a broad choice of hearing aids
                                                               the team. We are also actively recruiting new audiologists:
and products to match client’s needs to help them achieve
                                                               however the challenges of the reduced availability of
maximum hearing potential.
                                                               trained and qualified staff that is evident to all in the
hearservice staff and management have decided to               industry, means that we are consolidating our sites.
withdraw from the Office of Hearing Services contract           We are still providing services from:
due to organizational refocus. However we are continuing
                                                               Box Hill
to provide both Reduced Price Scheme (Health care card
                                                               Suite 15, Upper Level, Centro Whitehorse,
holders and Pensioners) and Standard Price Scheme
                                                               17 Market Street, 3128
  DONORS                                                       Word of Mouth, 2 Floriston Road, 3155

  Vicdeaf would like to acknowledge the following
  donors for their support:                                    Suite 204, Level 2, 3 Chester St, 3166
  NJ Horton Charitable Fund                                    We continue to provide high quality, client-focused private
  Frank & Sybil Richardson Charitable Fund                     Audiology, Rehabilitation and Devices appointments
  Mr Michael Krizos                                            through these three key sites.
  Ritchies Stores Pty Ltd (Community Benefi t Card)             For all enquiries please call 1300 30 20 31.

                          Victorian Deaf Society
                          Level 4, 340 Albert Street, East Melbourne 3002
                          TTY: 03 9473 1199 Voice: 03 9473 1111 Fax: 03 9473 1122
                          Toll-free for country people TTY: 1300 780 235 Voice: 1300 780 225
                          Vicdeaf hours: 9am to 5pm
                                                                                                                             KMD 0273 ISSUE 8

                          Regional offices: Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong, Sale & Wangaratta
                          Patrons: Professor David de Kretser, AO and Mrs. Jan de Kretser
                          Printed on 100% Recyled paper

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