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Breakthrough Braille phone

Posted on 19 May 2015

A new caption-braille device is being trialled in Australia.  The device will help Deaf and blind people make phone calls and have conversations easily. 

More Information: Deafblind Australian makes historic call with breakthrough Braille phone

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Privacy Awareness Week 3-9 May 2015

Posted on 6 May 2015

Privacy Awarenenes Week is an initiative of the Asia Pacific Privacy Authorities forum (APPA) to promote awareness of privacy issues and the importance of the protection of personal information. It is also about the responsibilities of businesses and the Governement when handling that information.

The Office of the Australiqan Information Commissioner (OAIC) has released an Auslan video about the Privacy Act and how to make a privacy complaint. Click here to view the video. 

For further information, visit the OAIC website. 



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Deaf Advocate named Young Australian of the Year 2015

Posted by Communications@NABS on 27 January 2015
Congratulations to Drisana Levitzke-Gray who was awarded Young Australian of the Year 2015.

The 21 year-old from Perth, is dedicated to helping other Deaf people and advocating their human rights. Drisana received a national honour for her efforts in promoting diversity and acceptance of Deaf people.

To read more, visit:    

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The Height of Adventure

Posted by interpreters on 1 August 2013

Adventurous Women is an all women group, Australia-wide company which gets women together to do exciting and fun challenges.



Perth interpreter Kieta Philp swapped her job books for hiking boots when she climbed Everest Base Camp during a 14-day adventure.

Kieta, along with 13 other women from the ‘Adventurous Women’ club, travelled to South Asia in April to take on the world’s highest mountain.

After flying to Kathmandu (the capital of Nepal) Kieta and her team set off with their guide, named Tek.

“The tracks were busy with trekkers and their porters, but even more so with local porters, donkeys and yaks carting everything from food to building materials,” Kieta says.

While Everest itself is 8,848 metres high, Base Camp sits at an impressive 5,364 metres.

Kieta says that after a “relatively easy” first day hiking through the valley, she quickly learnt that the biggest challenges remained ahead.

Some days the group walked for up to eight hours along steep and stony rocky steps.

They had to have lots of water, garlic soup and hot lemon drinks to keep their energy levels up and avoid getting sick.


We crossed many suspension bridges along the track, they were high and a challenge for many.


The view across the mountains (the Himalayas) was like a winter wonderland, according to Kieta.

She says they walked through the snow and slush, with snowflakes landing on all the trees and buildings.

The group also visited a Buddhist monastery, crossed suspension bridges and passed through cobblestone villages.

After an early dinner of garlic soup, dhal, noodles, rice, and, for the very brave, yak stew, they would sleep in tents before doing it all again the next day.

Despite the below-freezing temperatures, Kieta says it was all worthwhile when the team finally reached the rocky foothills leading to the base of Everest.

“We had succeeded in accomplishing our goal as a team and…we embraced and congratulated ourselves,” she says.

“We had pushed through our physical, mental and emotional barriers and conquered Base Camp!”

Although it was both physically and emotionally tiring, Kieta says she learnt one major lesson on the trek.

“We do not have problems in life, we have challenges…and challenges can be overcome.”


We passed many donkeys, horses and oxen carrying anything from food supplies to building materials, to villages along the track.


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Chloe's Story

Posted by Deaf Community on 11 April 2013
Chloe's Story

Hi, my name is Chloe. My sign name is Chloe, most people have a sign name to identify them and to know who they are, for example there might be a lot of Chloe’s that are Deaf, so when people ask, oh which Chloe are you talking about? When we use our sign name, they say, oh yeah, I know who she is, or no, I don’t know who she is.

I am 18 years old, and I was born Deaf. I learnt to speak (English) and sign (Auslan - Australian Sign Language) when my parents found out that I was diagnosed Deaf at 2 years old. I am still learning today. I decided to tell my story because I’ve been watching the popular TV show called Glee and it taught me that everyone is different and everyone comes from all different cultures, different perspectives, and different experiences. We all have different passions. I learnt it doesn’t matter what sexuality, race, gender you have, religion we come from, disability or no disability you have, we all have the same thing in common, and we all are human and we live on the same planet. Watching Glee lifts my mood, and I know that I am not alone and that everybody has their own issues. I struggled to communicate with my family because everyone in my family could hear and they expected me to hear everything and they didn’t sign as much, and I would get frustrated and angry.

Hearing people say that talking is so much easier than signing/learning another language, but signing is so much easier for Deaf people, some of us don’t want to talk, because some of us can’t hear, or some of us might get blamed or laughed at because we pronounce the words wrong. I just wanted to fit in and feel normal, and be perfect. But I realised it’s not worth it, and I have good friends who accept me for who I am and just like me for me.

I’ve played netball since I was 8 after a Deaf lady told my mum that I should play, my mum was worried that I wouldn’t hear the referee or the players. The Deaf lady, who told my mum that I should play netball, has two Deaf daughters who play netball, so she said this shouldn’t be a problem for me. So my mum decided to let me play netball, and on my first game, I loved it! So I have been playing ever since. I started as a shooter, but when I got older, I wanted a challenge so I changed my position to defence, and it is a lot of hard work, but I love it! When I was in school, there were other sports, and I didn’t know there were a lot more sports. I got involved in softball (for winter sports), running, cricket, soccer with my best friend who was Deaf too. I also played competitive interschool netball in the summer time. I also asked the teacher if there were other groups that I could join, she said, there is the student council, so I went to the meetings and I got a badge. I also nominated for house captain for my sports team, Hercules (green), and school captain so I had to give a speech in front of the whole school. I was so nervous! I didn’t get school captain, but I got house captain, I was so proud of myself, so I was determined to show everyone that being Deaf is fine, there is nothing wrong with us, we just can’t hear. What’s the worst that can happen?

But there were some people who didn’t understand Deafness, so I was bullied in primary and high school because of my deafness, but I never really let it get to me, it just rolled off my back, because I was used to it, and I was so tired of trying to fit in.

So, I finished year 7, and I was off to high school the next year, it was so different to primary school, it was much bigger, with more students and teachers, but luckily I still had the same friends that I had in primary school so I knew a few people. I did all kinds of subjects, Maths, English, SOSE, Science, HPE (Health & Physical Education), Home Economics, Manual Arts, Music etc. It was all so different, but it was fun to try new experiences. I still played netball near my local area, so I still loved playing sports.

In year 12, I was a prefect, I was surprised that the people in my school chose me to be a prefect, but I didn’t think I deserved it because I had to be a role model while doing assignments, studying, having a social life, alone time, sport, all the other commitments, work, boyfriend, friends, family and my whole life. I graduated from high school in 2011. I finished school with the people that I started with in pre-school.

Let’s say I was hearing, maybe I would have no idea what a Deaf person does, or how they communicate, or I would have seen them around somewhere and thought it was cool they were using their hands to communicate or I would think they were stupid. Some people wish they could hear but we can’t change, we were born this way. We’ll always be like this forever. It’s who we are, and it’s a part of us. Hearing people use their ears to hear, but Deaf people see the world through their eyes, because we can’t rely on our ears. When I try to lip-read and hear people, sometimes I miss words but I’m used to it and I ask people to repeat what they say but they say, oh never mind or it’s not important. My dream is to be an interior designer/shoe designer and to be a teacher of the Deaf children. So that’s my story. I’m proud to be Deaf. Thank you all for listening.

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