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Jul 13, 2023

Unlocking the Power of Communication: Scott's Journey with Auslan Sign Language

Life Skills News

“Northcott has taken on Scott’s sign language (Auslan), and the staff are teaching the other customers [to communicate with Scott]. It’s lovely to see. They’ve taken it on because if you don’t know sign, Scott won’t communicate with you.”

Scott thrives on people giving him time. To see the signs around the centre and customers using Auslan is lovely. It’s really, really good


Scott has been using sign language with his family and friends since a very young age. Over the past year, however, thanks to an initiative by staff to make learning Auslan part of the Life Skills program, Scott’s interaction with other Northcott customers, has been growing.

“We’ve also put up the key signs that Scott most frequently uses, such as toilet, good morning/afternoon, welcome, and the Auslan finger spelling chart, in each room. We’ve seen great results and interest. More customers and staff feel confident in communicating directly with Scott,” Hayden says.

His mother Jackie says that it’s been great to see other customers engaging with Scott by using Auslan or the communication tools – and to see his social interactions out in the community also improve.

“Northcott Support Worker, Georgia, works quite closely with Scott. She has one-on-one time with Scott and has taken on sign language. Other support staff are learning and picking up words,” Jackie says.

Jackie adds that Scott is growing in independence and confidence as a result of the increased interactions. He will use gestural signs or his communication device to order lunch or choose items in the supermarket.

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