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Expression Australia and the ABC have partnered to give Deaf Australians greater access to important information during the COVID-19 pandemic.

From this weekend ABC NEWS channel’s Sunday 6.00pm AEST national news bulletin will be picture-in-picture Auslan interpreted. The bulletin will also include a two-minute segment with specific information for the Australian Deaf community in Auslan.

“Like everybody, people who are Deaf are experiencing significant concern and anxiety about their health, well-being and future prospects during the COVID-19 crisis,” said Expression Australia CEO Christine Mathieson.

“This partnership with the ABC is a vital step forward to increase the amount of accessible information to assist people who are Deaf to stay connected and informed.”

One in five Australians are Deaf or hard of hearing, and people with hearing loss can often be isolated – even more so in times of crisis.

The visual language Auslan (Australian Sign Language) is recognised as a community language and is the primary language of people who are Deaf across Australia.

ABC Director, News Gaven Morris said the ABC was pleased to work with Expression Australia to deliver this extra service to audiences.

“Keeping Australians well informed is vital,” he said. “We welcome the opportunity to make the ABC’s trusted news and information more accessible to more people during the extraordinary events we are living through.”

Brent Phillips, Director Language, Partnerships and Innovation at Expression Australia, urged members of the Deaf community to watch the bulletins.

“As a member of the Deaf community, to be able to watch and understand a news bulletin in Auslan, my first language, will mean I am able to access essential information and make decisions, especially given the situation we are in,” he said.

Expression Australia was founded in 1884 by and for people who are Deaf. Its vision is to ensure that its clients and community have access, inclusion and equal opportunity in all areas of life.