NMIT (Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE) has signed a new contract for the delivery of Auslan training. This new training initiative, announced last week by the Minister for Higher Education and Skills, Peter Hall, will be a key strategy towards addressing the critical shortage of Auslan interpreters in Victoria.
Auslan (Australian Sign Language) is the language of the Deaf community in Australia and is used by friends, family, co-workers and professionals that interact with members of this community on a daily basis.
NMIT, incorporating deafConnectED (formerly the Centre of Excellence for Students who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing), will partner with Vicdeaf and La Trobe University to deliver a state-wide innovative model for Auslan training. The contract was awarded through the Pathways and Participation Division of the Victorian government’s Higher Education and Skills Group (HESG).
Under the banner of the Victorian Auslan Training Consortium (VATC), NMIT and its Consortium partners will deliver a training model that ensures that deaf and hard of hearing people, along with those with whom they work, live and socialise, will have improved access to Auslan training across all certificate levels through to Diplomas.
The VATC will begin offering certificate II and diploma courses from July this year with certificate III and IV courses to become available early next year.
“NMIT, incorporating deafConnectED, is proud to be working alongside its VATC partners to deliver an innovative program that will incorporate e-learning strategies,” said NMIT CEO, Dr Andy Giddy.
Through the new model and collaborative approaches, NMIT and the Victorian Auslan Training Consortium partner members will address the recommendations of the 2012 Review of Auslan Training and Delivery in Victoria and the feedback from the extensive community consultation with the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community that followed.
“The VATC is ultimately aiming to provide flexible delivery options to a wider range of students as well as reducing barriers for families with deaf children or those who aspire to a career as an Auslan interpreter,” said Sue Beshara, Associate Director of NMIT’s Faculty of Further Education.
“To give metropolitan and regional Victorians the best chance of accessing Auslan training we will utilise technology wherever possible including online and video technology in addition to classroom tuition at multiple venues. This will allow future students more flexible options for learning this unique language.”