Sign Language Interpreting in Australia: An Overview
Australia’s sign language and almost everything was associated was briefly mentioned in this article. The national language is English but there are over 200 different languages spoken. Not only by the migrants to Australia but also the Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander Australians. The signing deaf population varies greatly and ranges somewhere between 3,800 and 17,800. The sign language used in Australia is Australian Sign Language or Auslan. The amount of accredited interpreters varies as well. There are four different skill levels which are paraprofessional interpreter, interpreter, conference interpreter, and conference interpreter (senior).
After reading this article I was a little bit shocked that such a big country would not be as far along as the United States or Europe especially since it seems to be just as advanced as the rest of the World. To not know how many deaf people are in the country and not have enough interpreters or only have accreditation in paraprofessional interpreting and interpreting levels amazes me. But I did notice while reading this article the deaf students in mainstream schools has an English based sign as well just like in America.
The U.S. seems so much farther along with the Deaf community than Australia when before I thought it still needed much work but compared to Australia, the U.S. is doing pretty good on accommodating deaf people. The interpreters here are very skilled and most are educated at a University now and then certified. In Australia not many are qualified to be doing the work that they are doing because of the demand for interpreters. Interpreting can be stressful enough and doing someone that you are not exactly ready for or qualified for must be even more stressful. Hopefully, Australia will improve and be able to help the deaf community in a better way and have more skilled interpreters to help in areas of need.