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Ask a deafblind consultant - dedicated service now available nationally

Photo: Ask a deafblind consultant - dedicated service now available nationally
“Ask a Deafblind Consultant” service was launched by Senses Australia this week, and will ensure people across Australia with deafblindness and their families have access to timely, accurate and accessible information.

Via this service, the Deafblind Consultants will direct people to deafblindness specific information, services and supports that will best meet their individual needs.

The “Ask a Deafblind Consultant” service is part of Senses Australia’s National Deafblind Information Hub, which was created upon receiving a federal grant mid last year – the Information Linkages and Capacity (ILC) National Readiness Grant.

This online Hub is available at www.deafblindinformation.org.au.

Dyke (2013) estimates that 99,800 Australians have combined vision and hearing loss, also known as deafblindness, equating to 0.4% of the Australian population.
CEO of Senses Australia Lisa Brennan said that “Senses Australia has offered a dedicated Deafblind Consultant service since 2001. We are pleased to now have the opportunity to extend this service to people with deafblindness throughout Australia, particularly in those States where no dedicated deafblind services exist.”

“People with deafblindness have unique, diverse and complex needs requiring specialist support. Our Deafblind Consultants are professionals with allied health or teaching qualifications who have undertaken additional training and developed the specialist skills required to work effectively with people with deafblindness, and their support networks.”

Lisa further noted that being online means that their expert staff would be readily accessible, and through whatever communication method is preferred by the individual including phone, email, text message, or video relay with the use of Auslan interpreters.

“As a not-for-profit organisation, grants like this make a huge difference to the services that we can offer, as do donations from businesses or the general public.”

Other aspects of the National Deafblind Information Hub include a program of real time and recorded webinars, and videos which provide information relevant to people with deafblindness and which are accessible through audio, Auslan and captions.

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