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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2023 Week 06 Hansard (Wednesday, 7 June 2023) . . Page.. 1705 ..

Wednesday, 7 June 2023

MADAM SPEAKER (Ms Burch) (10.00): Members:

Dhawura nguna, dhawura Ngunnawal.

Yanggu ngalawiri, dhunimanyin Ngunnawalwari dhawurawari.

Nginggada Dindi dhawura Ngunnaawalbun yindjumaralidjinyin.

The words I have just spoken are in the language of the traditional custodians and translate to:

This is Ngunnawal Country.

Today we are gathering on Ngunnawal country.

We always pay respect to Elders, female and male, and Ngunnawal country.

Members, I ask you to stand in silence and pray or reflect on our responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Standing Committee on Education and Community Inclusion—report 7—government response

Ministerial statement

MS DAVIDSON (Murrumbidgee—Assistant Minister for Families and Community Services, Minister for Disability, Minister for Justice Health, Minister for Mental Health and Minister for Veterans and Seniors) (10.01): As Minister for Disability, I am pleased to present the ACT government’s response to the Standing Committee on Education and Community Inclusion’s inquiry into access to services and information in Auslan.

The ACT government is committed to supporting better access to services for deaf and hard-of-hearing Canberrans, as with all people of disability. I welcome the standing committee’s focus on how we can improve our collective efforts to continually strengthen accessibility for users of Auslan.

Before I turn to the government response, I would like to take a moment to reflect on the origin of the inquiry and acknowledge the tremendous efforts of Auslan users in continuing to collaborate with the ACT government to enhance the inclusiveness of services throughout Canberra.

Auslan is a rich and descriptive visual language and the most authentic way for deaf people to communicate fully. For many people in Canberra, Auslan is their first language. DeafACT estimates there are currently around 300 deaf or hard-of-hearing people who communicate using Auslan in our region.

I thank members of DeafACT and the deaf community for raising concerns about limitations on the availability of services and information in Auslan in the ACT. As a result of this advocacy and an associated petition, the standing committee resolved to inquire into this matter. The government welcomed this inquiry.

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