Burswood-based Senses Australia creates National Deafblind Information Hub

L-R: Peter Cliff (Secretary, Deafblind West Australians), Karen Wickham (Deafblind Consultant, Senses Australia) and Jennifer Weir (Treasurer, Deafblind West Australians).
L-R: Peter Cliff (Secretary, Deafblind West Australians), Karen Wickham (Deafblind Consultant, Senses Australia) and Jennifer Weir (Treasurer, Deafblind West Australians).

PEOPLE with disabilities and their families will have a one-stop shop to access vital resources as Senses Australia creates an online support hub.

The non-profit organisation, based in Burswood, received $475,000 in Federal Government funding to develop the online National Deafblind Information Hub over two years.

Project manager Matthew Wittorff said the hub would provide information in several formats accessible to people with deafblindness, including face-to-face webinars and pre-recorded videos with Auslan interpreters and captioning.

“It is currently extremely difficult for people with deafblindness to access information about the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), so the hub will provide accessible information about the new way people in Australia with disabilities are receiving services and support,” he said.

“People who are deafblind require their communication partners (including family members) to have specific communication skills which may include a knowledge of tactile Auslan (sign language), deafblind fingerspelling or skills in producing plain language.

“Many people who are deafblind were born deaf and their first language is Auslan, so English is a second language.”

The hub will also enable deafblind people to access advice about how to advocate for accessible services and strategies for independent living.

The National Deafblind Information Hub is available at deafblindinformation.org.au.