Sign language fight taken to parliament

Member for Frome Geoff Brock has taken local man Dallas Schmidt’s fight to the South Australian Parliament.

In October, as previously reported in the Recorder, Mr Schmidt presented Mr Brock a petition with 2000 signatures, asking for the implementation of Auslan, the Australian Sign Language, to become part of the school curriculum and become a second language for all students from pre-school onward.

“Following the submission of the petition, I am introducing a notice of motion into parliament requesting the education system to investigate and implement Auslan as part of their curriculum,” he said.

“This won’t happen immediately but we are trying to see at least one location on each regional centre to teach sign language.

“We need to start somehow and it is better sooner than later.”

Crystal Brook Primary School uses Auslan to support one of its students.

“At Crystal Brook Primary School we have a signing deaf student, so we use Auslan to be inclusive and to support them in class and within the school environment, to access the curriculum and so to interact with their peers and staff,” said principal Anne Franks.

“We also work with the family and the organisations that support the student to have positive outcomes with their learning and socially. 

“We receive support from the Region Support Services of DECD, in particular the hearing service. This service works with the student, family, staff and other students to have an awareness of hearing issues and communicating with a person with hearing loss.”

She said they had considered teaching Auslan as a Language Other Than English but that at this stage they had no plans to introduce it as it is a logistically a difficult subject to offer.

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