What was the study about?
The Paper is an examination of the role of sign-language by deaf Aboriginal individuals. It discusses how sign languages or ‘hand talk’ is still used by many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, including deaf and hard of hearing people in their communities and deaf and hard of hearing children in schools.
What were the key findings?
- Increasing the use of Auslan among Aboriginal hearing people might help reduce the isolation of Aboriginal deaf and hard of hearing people
- Supporting local signed languages is important for community communication
- One language that has emerged among deaf and hearing people in the Torres Strait and Far North Queensland is ‘Ailan’, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (sign) Language. This is a mixture of Auslan, Australasian Signed English and indigenous signs learned in communities.
- The acceptance of signing in Aboriginal communities presents opportunities to help reduce the isolation of Aboriginal deaf and hard of hearing people by promoting Auslan and local sign languages.
Where can I read more?
Australian Aboriginal Deaf People and Aboriginal Sign Language
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