Advocacy Tips for Deaf Community
IN AN EMERGENCY SITUATION
The service (police, hospital etc) can book an interpreter through their regular agency face to face or VRI.
This might be VITS*, Oncall or even an Auslan agency.
Auslan Connections, Auslan Services and Echo Interpreting work hard to provide interpreters at short notice in emergencies.
During business hours (Monday- Friday 9am- 5pm)
- You can SMS your preferred Auslan agency to see if they can help
- You can SMS Deaf Victoria on 0431 476 721 for advocacy support
After hours (weekends, late night/early morning, public holiday)
- Auslan Connections have an after hours emergency number that services can call: 03 9473 1174
- You can SMS Echo Interpreting on: 0449 259 153
If the emergency service refuses – you can show them your rights on the end page.
Contact Deaf Victoria in business hours to make a complaint.
PRIVATE HEALTH APPOINTMENT
If you have an appointment with private healthcare (GP, Dentist, Physio, Private hospital) you use your NDIS plan to pay for an Auslan interpreter.
You can book with any Auslan agencies you like:
Auslan Connections, Auslan Services, NABS, Echo Interpreting and any other interpreting agencies.
NABS will use your NDIS plan to pay for the interpreter (It is not free anymore).
If you don’t have NABS (because you are over 65 years old, Aboriginal or TSI, not Australian citizen or not eligible) then NABS will arrange free Auslan interpreter for you.
Over 65s with a My Aged Care package can use Auslan Connections to access these services and appointments.
PUBLIC HEALTH APPOINTMENT
If you have an appointment with public hospital, they are responsible to pay for Auslan interpreter for you as they receive the Government fund for this.You can show them your rights on the page 6.
If the police want to interview you, they are responsible to pay for Auslan interpreter for you as they receive the Government fund for this.
You can show them your rights on the page 5.
You are required to provide me with an Auslan Interpreter. As a Deaf person, my access rights are protected by the following:
- Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006
- Criminal Procedure Act 2009, as highlighted in Section 33
- Equal Opportunities Act 2012, includes a ‘positive duty obligation’ which means that departments and agencies need to take proactive and reasonable steps to address causes of discrimination, regardless of whether a complaint has been made or not.
- Victorian Government Policy, Using Interpreting Services.
Auslan Interpreters can be booked through VITS and Auslan Connections.
You are required to provide me with an Auslan Interpreter. As a Deaf person, my informed consent is vital and my access rights are protected by the following:
- Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care by National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards Guide for Hospitals
Action 2.4 / Action 2.8 / Action 4.0 / Action 5.13 / Action 6.3
- Australian Charter of Healthcare rights
- Good medical practice: a code of conduct for doctors in Australia (March 2014) by The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Ahpra)
Auslan Interpreters can be booked through your language services and Auslan Connections can be booked through the VITS credit line. Other agencies include: Auslan Services, Echo Interpreting or NABS.