New sign language interpreting service now available

10 Dec 2020

AMA members may be interested in a new and free sign language interpreting service for older Australians who are deaf, deafblind, or hard of hearing, and who do not have access to interpreting services through aged care programs or the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). 

From November 2020, eligible patients can access free sign language interpreting services for daily activities such as: 

  • family/social events 

  • banking 

  • moving/selling house 

  • dealing with agencies/advisors etc. 

These services are available face-to-face and by video remote. 

Sign language services for deaf consumers or consumers who are hard of hearing are available in: 

  • Auslan 

  • American Sign Language 

  • International Sign Language 

  • Signed English 

Tactile signing and hand over hand interpreting is available for deafblind consumers. 

To access these services, clients will need to contact Auslan Connections in advance. Once registered, patients will receive a Department of Health booking code which can be used each time they book an interpreting service. Bookings can be made via the Auslan Connections website or by calling 1300 010 877. 

Bookings should be made in advance when possible to ensure the availability of an interpreter. 

Each client can access an average of 40 hours of interpreting services per year. Over the next six months usage will be monitored. A cap may be applied in the 2021-22 financial year. 

Deaf or hard of hearing clients who are over 65 will not be required to receive an aged care assessment if they are seeking to access interpreting services.