Find an introduction to the language of Australia’s Deaf and hard-of-hearing community.
Auslan is the official language of deaf people living in Australia, and is at the centre of Deaf culture and community. Auslan is the official language of deaf people and is at the centre of Deaf culture and community. Auslan is also the preferred signing language of hard-of-hearing people in Australia.
It is the single most unifying characteristic. So if a person can show that they understand Auslan’s value for Deaf and hard-of-hearing people, they will help them to learn it.
People who do not value Auslan are unlikely to feel comfortable or accepted within Australian Deaf culture. It is not necessary to be fully fluent in Auslan, but what is necessary is acceptance and respect for Auslan as a language in its own right.
Auslan is used in the Deaf and hard-of-hearing communities and English in the hearing community to varying degrees of fluency.
Deaf and hard-of-hearing people live and work with hearing people, and often struggle with discrimination, prejudice and misunderstanding, while living rich and fulfilling social, sporting and cultural lives within the Deaf and hard-of-hearing communities.
Still, they manage successfully to balance life between both these communities, with varying degrees.
Auslan is the main language used by the Deaf and hard-of-hearing communities in Australia, and is used by almost 20,000 people every day. Raising awareness of Auslan will help to create a more understanding, accessible and connected world for the Deaf and hard-of-hearing communities.
Learn more about Auslan through National Disability Practitioners' Factsheet - Auslan: What you need to know.