Happy International Day of Sign Languages!

Today we proudly celebrate International Day of Sign Languages. This is a day where throughout the world we celebrate the gift of sign languages, the natural language of deaf people

With sign language, deaf people can do anything!


Hello! I am David Parker and I am Deaf. I use Auslan all my life and I am an Auslan teacher. I am the community manager for Ephpheta. I would like to present a quick message to say in Auslan (Australian Sign Language) that Ephpheta Centre will get involved and help celebrate the International day of sign languages.

Why is this special event on 23rd September? The International Day of Languages was proclaimed by UN General Assembly and that the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) was established on 23rd of September 1951.

According to the World Federation of the Deaf, there are approximately 72 million deaf people worldwide. More than 80% of them live in developing countries. Collectively, they use more than 300 different sign languages.

Sign language is the natural language of deaf people. In Australia deaf people use Australian Sign Language which is called “Auslan”. Auslan was recognised by the Australian government as the preferred language of the Deaf community in 1987.

So why is sign language important? With sign language, deaf people can do anything! Education, work, family, faith and friends – with sign language, barriers to communication and access disappear. Sign language is so important to deaf people and all people if we want our world to be inclusive.

Ephpheta Centre is a deaf friendly space and uses Auslan daily for all sorts of activities. We have accessible Catholic services in Auslan. Mass services are interpreted by trained Auslan interpreters. The Ephpheta Centre runs many different activities with inclusion in mind for all deaf and hard of hearing people. The Ephpheta team is proudly Auslan competent!

The Ephpheta team would like to acknowledge the invaluable support of Archdiocese of Sydney, Parramatta diocese and Broken Bay Diocese.

We have made some videos by deaf members of our Ephpheta Community who were interviewed by our team about the use of Auslan in the Ephpheta community and Catholic churches in the past. These two videos are in Auslan. Enjoy viewing the videos!

May God bless you all.

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