Learning to listen with my eyes
5 April 2019
Such a simple exchange. A blip in time that I’m sure this young woman would not remember if I bumped into her now. This simple conversation had my mind buzzing with a million questions. How did she know I was at the door? Does she have to write everything she needs? How does she order a cup of coffee at a café? What if she needs emergency services?
- Tiffany, Social Worker: “Communication with clients who are deaf is more enjoyable. I hope they can see that I am trying, and have respect for their language and culture.”
- Lauren, Occupational Therapist: “I learned Auslan for interest, to learn a new language that I could share with others. To have more options to communicate with people who access our services.”
- Bonnie, Occupational Therapist: “I’ve always been interested in learning a new language. I got to practice Auslan with a client that used sign and speech together. It was nice to connect with this client and use the same form of communication he used.”
- Danika, Training and Events officer: “I hope to carry the knowledge forward in a simple form with my new child to be, and try to find opportunities in future work and free time. I learnt how Auslan is as complex and specific as any other language, and also how many of the symbols are almost instinctual, for example just signing ‘relaxed’ feels like lying down after a long day.”
Anu, Customer Services Officer: “I signed up so that I can use my Auslan knowledge in communicating with clients who visit ILC, fortunately I have managed to communicate with four individuals who are hard of hearing and they felt very included, became very excited and taught me some more Auslan!”
I want to live in a world where participation, inclusion and living independently are valued and supported. I am so grateful that in a world that frequently pronounces differences, persons in the deaf and hard of hearing community have been so patient and willing to teach us not just their language, but more about their cultures. I am already looking forward to completing the intermediate course; but for now- I am happy to practice Auslan with my colleagues.