Why NDIS will be beneficial

I’ve been reading about how fellow bloggers across Australia are excited about the upcoming #PBEVENT this weekend. It’s hosted by ProBlogger and will be providing workshops for blogging in all aspects, and will be held in Gold Coast.

I really wish I was able to attend, but alas, I cannot.

I found out too late about it, of course….and well, funds.

However, there is a much bigger issue that would have stopped me from attending…their ability to provide Auslan interpreters. Most blogging conferences/workshops/seminars usually do not have a small budget put aside for accessibility such as the costs of sign language interpreters.

Without interpreters available, I would not go. I deserve access to all information in my preferred language, and that is Auslan.

Sign language interpreters are expensive, and for a whole weekend like the #PBEVENT, it would have cost them well over $2,000. The hourly rate for an Auslan interpreter is approximately $110 at the moment, although it varies in each State/Territory.

I don’t have spare $2,000+…and most organisers do not either.

This is where NDIS comes in.

If I could access to NDIS right now, I would have been going to conferences/workshops/seminars and whatnot, and I could have organised interpreters myself and paid for it.

But alas, NDIS is not available nationally until 2019 at the latest. That’s a while away yet…and in the meantime, if I do learn of more blogging conferences/seminars/workshops/whatnot then I would have to contact the organisers to see if Auslan interpreters would be provided.

NDIS should have started AGES ago.

Carly Findlay, a fellow blogger with a disability, has kindly offered to live tweet throughout the weekend, and she will also be posting a summary of the said event, so I am incredibly grateful for her. Thank you Carly, and I look forward to your tweets!

All in all, someday I hope to be able to attend a ProBlogger event, and other blogger conferences and what not! For now, I’m learning more and more about blogging, especially on how to grow I Sign. I Wander. through this wonderful Facebook group – Aussie Bloggers. It’s a smorgasbord of information, and so many bloggers help each other out which is just incredible. I’ve never felt so welcome 🙂

Yours in blogging,

S x

12 comments on “Why NDIS will be beneficial”

  1. I’m not going either, funds being the major issue here. Our Miss 7 is hearing impaired, she doesn’t use Auslan as her hearing has been sufficient for language development, but she does wear aids and uses an FM system. Sometimes it’s the little things that are really frustrating – for example our local cinema has one of it’s smaller theatres equipped with an audio loop but they never screen kids’ movies in that cinema so Miss 7 has to make do with just aided sound.

    1. Sherrie says:

      I agree with you on little things being really frustrating. Have you heard of the Captiview device being used in major cinemas across Australia? Alternatively, there are open captioned screening at cinemas in capital cities which happens once a month, and is rather well attended by deaf and hard of hearing people as we prefer it over Captiview and makes our cinema experience a lot more comfortable. If you would like to know more about those, let me know and I’ll be able to email you with more information 🙂

      1. Yes please! That would be great! She has her regular 6-monthly hearing check with Australian Hearing next week too, I wonder if they’d have more info too?

        1. Sherrie says:

          Great – where are you based? Just want to make sure I send you accurate information 🙂

          Australian Hearing should have some information – worth trying too.

          1. We’re in Sydney – big city = great for lots of things, but last to roll out the NDIS 🙁

          2. Sherrie says:

            I agree – I used to live in Sydney. Email coming your way shortly 🙂

  2. Seana Smith says:

    Hello, very good to have your point of view out there. Come on NDIS get a move on! I’m sure blogger events would be really keen to be as genuinely inclusive as possible. I’m going this year, and great to hear Carly will live tweet.

  3. Thanks for writing this post Sherrie – this is actually something I did a bit of research on earlier this year.

    We’ve never been asked for an interpreter but I was chatting to another conference organiser who had been trying to respond to such requests for his small event.

    His challenge was that he was quoted $2500 for two days but as his event was just for 50 people he had to work out how to cover that cost – definitely tricky as it added significant cost to each ticket price.

    For us the cost would be significant – as we try to keep prices down and have traditionally just tried to cover costs – but we’d have some wriggle room to absorb it into our ticket prices given our larger attendee numbers.

    The other alternative that I’d considered if we’d not had time to consider this kind of cost in our budget before the event was to offer anyone needing an interpreter an extra ticket to bring a friend for free. That solution probably doesn’t suit everyone but we’d certainly be open to finding a way to make our event as accessible as possible.

    This is definitely something I’d love to find a way to address and NDIS would seem a logical solution when it finally is accessible to everyone.

    Totally open to suggestions!

    1. Sherrie says:

      Hi Darren,

      Thank you so much for taking time out to comment – very much appreciated!

      The alternative you considered would be have been okay years ago, but since the fake interpreter debacle that happened at Mandela’s funeral in South Africa late last year, we are now very careful with booking interpreters and making sure they are accredited by NAATI and qualified to interpret between English and Auslan. If I was to bring a friend, I would not want to place such a large burden on them, nor would I want to hold them accountable if they failed to convey important information. As I mentioned to Carly on Facebook today, it is essential that deaf people are given access to information through Auslan – that being Auslan interpreters, and it is mentioned in the DDA and the UN CRPD (Articles 9 and 21).

      It really sucks that most conference usually do not have funds to pay for Auslan interpreters, however I am pretty sure there are grants available for accessibility at conferences. I will get in touch with my colleagues and ask around, and let you know, if you would like?

      Happy to discuss this further with you.

      Again, thank you so much and all the best for this weekend!

  4. thanks for those thoughts Sherrie – I’m literally about to jump in a cab to the airport to head up to PBEVENT but will definitely bookmark this to ponder as we think about next year’s events.

    1. Sherrie says:

      Good luck for this weekend!

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