Deaf Victoria launched the report from an inquiry into the provision of Auslan Interpreters in Victorian Public Hospitals on Friday 13th June 2013. The inquiry was commenced in August 2013 in response to stories from deaf parents having babies in hospitals where they refuse to provide interpreters during the birth as it costs too much, deaf people having serious health complications and waiting up to two days to get an interpreter to find out critical information about their health from their doctors. It’s sadly commonplace to hear of deaf family members needing to make decisions for elderly relatives, however interpreters are not provided for them because “the patient is not deaf” and deaf parents refused interpreters for antenatal classes after hours. A deaf patient with a series of health complications was provided with an interpreter “sometimes” and as a result, is in chronic pain and treatment delayed again and again due to misunderstandings in communication.
Seventy-two (72) people were captured in this inquiry, and involved a number of hospitals all over Victoria. It is important to note that the intention of this project is not to target health services or interpreting agencies, but to simply gather data from the deaf and hard of hearing communities, interpreters and other users of the service to identify problem areas and work to resolve and ease the issues. The recommendations for change are also noted in the report.
This report has also been sent to the Department of Health, and the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission, and we hope to work together with you, and with them, to find a best way forward for all health services and Deaf and hard of hearing Victorians.
You can read the report here.
Deaf Victoria is announce that we are launching an investigation into Auslan interpreting provision in hospitals in Victoria. We will be working with Aslia Vic and the Victorian Equal Opportunities and Human Rights Commission to identify changes and good outcomes for all. We have informed all Interpreting agencies, hospitals and Deaf service providers of our intentions via an open letter sent on 22nd August 2013 which you can find here.
WE NEED YOUR STORIES!!
Your information will be kept confidential at all times, we will assist you to resolve the issue, and also collect the data to identify areas of change.
Letter from MP Kim Wells, Minister for Police and Emergency Services to let us know that the Firearms Safety Course application form that states that interpreters will not be provided and paid for, is being amended as they recognized that it was in breach of the Equal Opportunity Act and Disability Discrimination Act. Read the response here.
The National Relay Service has delivered, as promised earlier this year, the SMS Relay Service. For more information, see this link on their page: http://relayservice.gov.au/making-a-call/sms-relay/
The SMS Relay number is 0423 677 767. Save it in your phone today!
Deaf Victoria provides advocacy for the Deaf Community and hard of jarring Victorians with funding received from Victorian Government’s Office of Disability.
Advocacy is about making a change or representing deaf and hard of hearing people in various settings through supporting or standing alongside an individual who is in need and speaking out on their behalf. We act in response to community’s needs and are concerned with their basic rights, access and needs to promote and defend the person’s wellbeing and social justice.
There are two types of advocacy: Individual and Systemic, Deaf Victoria can do both.
Individual advocacy - focus on one person’s rights and needs, for example, access to workplace.
Systemic advocacy - focuses on whole of community’s rights and needs, for example, Deaf Education Review.
What can Deaf Victoria do?
- Act as an advocate or support person for the person/s and make complaints and advocate on the person/s behalf
- Encouraging the person/s to take actions, wherever possible;
- Provide information about various services and advocacy supports;
- Informing both individual and community about their rights and responsibilities;
- Linking to broader community and service networks;
- Providing policy developments, reforms and planning for future services;
- Facilitating awareness session to clients, service providers and others;
- Collecting and analysing information from Victorian Government and others to enhance quality of information and contents for our community group;
- Maintaining relationships with various groups to meet or promote the needs of Deaf community.
Advocacy is NOT about:
- Taking over a client’s problem;
- Making decisions for the clients;
- Promoting helplessness or dependency;
Example of Systemic Advocacy:
- Auslan Training at TAFES
- Auslan Video Relay Interpreting
- Emergency Services
- Review of Deaf Education
- Inquiry into Auslan Interpreting in Hospitals Project
The Project, on Channel Ten, aired a segment about the need for an SMS emergency service for Deaf and hard of hearing people in Australia. This prompted the Australian Government to announce that YES, we will have and SMS Emergency service from July 2013.
Read the segment here
Read the announcement from Senator Stephen Conroy here
Read the Media Release from Australian Communications Action Network here
Save Auslan Courses Rally - 30th May 2012 at Parliament House