00:03 The main challenge that a Deaf or hard-of-hearing person faces in their daily life
00:07 is communicating with mainstream society.
00:11 Communication is often broken up into two schools of thought signing or oral communication
00:29 Auslan, Australian Sign Language, is the natural language of the
00:34 Deaf community in Australia and is its own language.
00:41 Auslan conveys complex ideas to the full extent of any other language by using
00:47 by using signs, space, facial expressions, body language and lip patterns.
00:53 It has its own grammar, rules, and sentence structures which are different from English.
01:02 Auslan uses a manual alphabet or finger spelling for times where there is no sign
01:08 such as a place name or a person's name.
01:14 Auslan is visual and very accessible in many environments.
01:20 Auslan can be used to communicate from across a loud space,
01:26 perhaps underwater,
01:30 or even through a train window.
01:41 While some deafness is genetic surprisingly more than 90% of deaf children
01:46 are born into families where everyone else can hear.
01:50 commonly these families have never met a deaf person before
01:54 and the task of learning Auslan to communicate is a difficult one.
01:58 Often the medical advice is for the child to be taught to speak and lip-read
02:03 to have a better chance of assimilating into mainstream society.
02:08 Traditionally parents have been discouraged from teaching their child to sign
02:12 as it was thought it would interfere with their ability to learn English
02:19 Research has now shown that view to be incorrect
02:22 and highlights the importance of providing children with as
02:26 much language as possible in the early developmental years.
02:30 Depending on the level of hearing loss, and with the assistance of hearing aids or cochlear implants
02:36 some individuals can get by quite well with lip-reading and speaking.
02:41 However it is important to note that only 30 percent of what we say reflects on the lips and mouths
02:47 and it takes consider about concentration to follow conversation.
02:52 This can be made even more difficult if the person has facial hair, is eating or has an accent
02:58 It also goes without saying you can't read the back of someone's head.