The shortage in the Auslan interpreter workforce needs to be addressed by this government.
While a recent NSW parliament inquiry recommended that parliamentary proceedings are translated by Auslan interpreters it also noted that there is more to be done to address the lack of highly qualified Ausland interpreters available.
There are lot of people in the Deaf community who are unable to access interpreters for hospital appointments, in schools, and in the police and justice system.
Abigail passed a motion in parliament to acknowledge the shortfall of qualified interpreters and call on the government to do more.
Ms ABIGAIL BOYD (10:08): I seek leave to amend private members' business item No. 2132 outside the order of precedence for today of which I have given notice by omitting in paragraph (3) "to develop a strategy and implementation plan".
Ms ABIGAIL BOYD: Accordingly, I move:
(1) That this House commends the Auslan interpreter workforce for their critical work.
(2) That this House notes that:
(a) the Legislative Council Procedure Committee Report No. 16 on Auslan interpretation for broadcasting documents long‑running concern in the Deaf community and amongst Deaf advocacy organisations that there is a significant shortage of Auslan interpreters, with the lack of availability of interpreters described by one witness as "one of the biggest problems [the Deaf community] have";
(b) there is a strong link between exposure to sign language interpretation and choosing it as a career, and so awareness is key to addressing workforce shortages; and
(c) there is a lack of professional training and development opportunities available for Auslan interpreters.
(2) That this House calls on the Minister for Disability Services and the Minister for Skills and Training to work with the Deaf community to address the Auslan interpretation workforce shortage.
Motion agreed to.