Improving accessibility in partnership with Can:Do
Employees from SA Power Networks are being taught how to use Auslan through an online program coinciding with this year's International Day of Signed Languages, and Australia's National Week of Deaf People.
Both field and office staff can voluntarily take part in an online learning module, before having access to an app with visual reminders of relevant words and phrases related to the power industry and customer service.
It’s all part of our partnership with the Can:Do Group, improving accessibility of emergency services across South Australia.
One of our employees Luke is a ‘CODA’ - child of deaf adult. Fluent in Auslan, he features in a training video to help his colleagues.
“I was really happy to be part of the training video, which gives SA Power Networks staff an insight into how members of the Deaf community can get left behind,” Luke says. “What the training will show is that even a few words or phrases can really make a difference in helping people understand why their power is out, or why someone is looking at their meter box.”
“Mum and Dad have been really proud of my involvement, and I hope our staff will really take on board that even by just knowing a few key phrases they could really make someone’s day.”
The module, which includes quizzes and an understanding of Deaf culture, is kept open for participants after completion – staff can return to the training at any time they like to refresh.
To support staff when they are speaking to customers and suppliers, Luke says the Auslan phone app will be a handy reminder.
“The app has short videos that staff can use to communicate with the Deaf as we understand people might forget Auslan if they rarely use it,” Luke says.
The International Day of Signed Languages is on Thursday, September 23, during Australia’s National Week of Deaf People recognised from September 20-26 in 2021.