Would your son or daughter like to learn to play footy but there are communication barriers holding them back? If they are between 5 and 12 years of age and deaf or hard of hearing, bring them along to try South Melbourne District Sports Club’s Auslan Auskick program which Deaf Children Australia (DCA) is supporting. This program is the first of its kind to make footy more fun and accessible for children who are deaf and hard of hearing by offering the regular Auskick program delivered in Australian Sign Language (Auslan) on Saturday mornings. Of course other siblings are welcome to join up for Auskick too.
Ten year old Hasnath has just joined the Auslan Auskick program. Having come from Sri Lanka with his dad Haroon two years ago, Hasnath had never seen Aussie Rules football played when he was younger but many of the other boys probably play footy at his school. Through the support of the Tye Recreation Fund, DCA was able to organise footy gear and footy boots for Hasnath and help him get involved.
Being profoundly deaf in Sri Lanka and not having any sign language, Hasnath faced significant communication barriers. A lot has changed for Hasnath over the last two years. Since coming to Australia, he has learned Auslan and received a cochlear implant and hearing aid. He is learning to say a few words in Tamil and English. Hasnath’s DCA family support worker Emma Gale says, “Hasnath has a lot of energy and we saw the Auslan Auskick program as a way to help Hasnath learn a sport, be able to access the coaching in a language he understands, and connect with other children around his age.”
Hasnath’s dad Haroon adds, “He likes to play Auslan Auskick. He was very excited going for the first time and asked for photos in his new uniform. This is the first time Hasnath is in a team sport outside school.”
DCA would like to open up the opportunity for a group of children who are deaf or hard of hearing to come to try Auslan Auskick. So if you have a group at a Deaf facility or you want to organise a group from a regional town, we would be happy to arrange a bus. We want more children to experience what it’s like to have the same communication access as other kids in footy. If you are interested in this offer which will be provided free of charge, please contact DCA’s Development and Fundraising Manager Noel Henderson at email@example.com or Ph 9539 5362.
Come and try Auslan Auskick for free. If you have fun and wish to continue there is a small registration cost for Auskick but we provide the Auslan interpreting for free. The program runs each Saturday from 9am to 10:30am. It’s not too late to join! For more information, contact Noel or Dave Wolf on 0419 908 909 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Click for more information on Auslan Auskick.