Deaf Friendly Scheme Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


There has been some confusion about membership with Deaf Australia and the Deaf Friendly Scheme.

You can continue to be a member of Deaf Australia the same in past years. Its easy to sign up now on the website.

If you also want to be part of the Deaf Friendly Scheme in addition to your normal membership, just click the Deaf Friendly Scheme button on the website and fill out the form. Then you get two memberships for the price of one. Easy!


The Deaf Friendly Scheme is a Deaf Australia initiative to encourage an inclusive society by providing information about employers or service providers that have staff who are fluent in Auslan (Australian Sign Language) so that these services are more accessible for people who use Auslan.

Individuals

Any deaf, hard of hearing or non-deaf (hearing) person who has done the Auslan check (and passed) can receive ‘Deaf Friendly’ status.

Employers/businesses/organisations

Organisation/business that have deaf/hoh/hearing staff who can sign (minimum of one but can be more) can register their business as a ‘Deaf Friendly’ provider. This means they are ‘Deaf Friendly’ approved and can use the Deaf Friendly logo and be on the Business Directory.

We are not looking at your linguistics to criticise or judge. We just need to check that you can converse easily in Auslan.

Deaf Australia has developed two ways to determine levels of proficiency in Auslan. These are:

  1. Auslan Check: A Deaf Australia assessor will have a meeting with the person who wants the check. They chat and then the assessor works out if the person is fluent or not.
  1. Reference Check: Deaf people can use this way instead of Auslan Check. Contact us for more information

If you are a NAATI qualified interpreter and a financial member of ASLIA, contact us, as you may not need to do an Auslan Check.

The Deaf Friendly Scheme is effective with evidence of proficiency in Auslan. If you do not feel comfortable with either option, please email info@deaf-friendly.com to discuss alternative options.


The Auslan Check or Reference Check is a tool to ensure the integrity of Auslan remains intact; it also provides Auslan users with assurance of quality provided by employers/ service providers.

This scheme is particularly useful for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) to identify appropriate supports and for deaf people (and families of deaf children) that individuals or families may access with support from NDIS.


You can do an Auslan Check in person or over Skype or FaceTime with an assessor. The check will take no more than 15 minutes.

The assessor will contact you to make arrangements for a video interview. It is important that you stick to the agreed appointment time.

Deaf Australia acknowledges that there are differences in Auslan style and proficiency for a number of reasons; eg age, environment, education and or the community. We will make effort to consider these factors while conducting Checks.

If you do not meet proficiency requirements in the first Auslan Check, you will have the opportunity for a 2nd Auslan Check. If the 2nd assessor does not agree with the 1st assessor, then you will be given an opportunity for a 3rd Auslan Check.

If you do not meet the proficiency requirements in the 2nd Auslan Check, you will be given feedback on areas of focus to improve your proficiency in Auslan.