Accredited para-professional sign language interpreter David Wallis will be running a six-week 'Introduction to Sign Language' course for South Burnett residents in February.
Accredited para-professional sign language interpreter David Wallis will be running a six-week 'Introduction to Sign Language' course for South Burnett residents in February.

Speaking with signs: Auslan courses coming to Kingaroy

WHETHER it is a required skill in your workplace or you’ve just always wanted to learn sign language, you will now have the chance this year in Kingaroy.

Accredited para-professional sign language interpreter David Wallis will be running a six-week ‘Introduction to Sign Language’ course for South Burnett residents in February.

“I have had a lot of interest from my Facebook posts,” Mr Wallis said.

When asked about the importance of providing these courses in areas like Kingaroy, Mr Wallis said that despite the location, the courses are always helpful.

“Often regional towns miss out on these courses and it’s important to include regional towns,” Mr Wallis said.

“Over the past three years I have run a number of sign language courses in Kingaroy and it is always well supported here,” he said.

The course will include basic sign-language skills, as well as discussions on deaf culture, the difference between the language of English and Auslan, and educational trends and the impact on the deaf community.

“You will learn around 90 conversational signs and by the end of the six-week course you could have a basic conversation with a deaf person,” Mr Wallis said.

“We also cover some myths that ‘hearing people’ assume when dealing with the deaf community.

“There will be handouts for each session so you come away with a handy resource pack, there are also online resources for the course.”

Mr Wallis also explained the benefit that these courses will have for disability services staff.

“The course will give you the skills to communicate with people who use Auslan as their primary language,” Mr Wallis said.

“It is also helpful when communicating with non-verbal clients as well,” he said.

“I think learning Auslan is also about being inclusive to our deaf community, as they will often choose a service or business if they know the staff have made an effort to learn their language.”

“With the introduction of the NDIS we now have a wider variety of people who now have access to funds and require support to access the community.”

If you are interested in participating in the course, contact David through his Facebook, David Wallis Consultancy.

Course dates and venue are yet to be confirmed.

South Burnett

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