Editors Note: For further information about the topic of this story and to take some action to help the Deaf community see our other article on Auslan and the NDIS
Deaf Australia released a petition today. They are concerned that the Government is considering incorporating the National Auslan Booking Service (NABS) under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). For those that do not know, NABS is the Government funded interpreting service that Deaf people who use Auslan can access when they visit a private doctor or medical professional like their local GP. The NDIS is the much vaunted disability scheme that is to revolutionise disability support in Australia. Where previously funding was controlled by agencies funding will now be controlled by people with a disability who will then purchase the supports that they require from the “market.”
There has been discussion that NABS funding will be put into the pool of NDIS funds. Deaf Australia are rightly concerned that this will disadvantage many Deaf People. They have put together an Auslan video outlining the reasons for their concerns. You can watch this video here.
If you are hearing or a deaf person who does not understand Auslan, click on the CC icon for the captions.
I share Deaf Australia’s concerns. Certainly under the current NDIS you would have to worry that many, many Deaf people might be left without support. As Deaf Australia point out some Deaf people may not even be eligible. Deaf people over 65 who have never had an NDIS plan will also have no access to interpreting. There are also concerns that Deaf people will have to “predict” how many times they will go…