In a first-ever for Australia, deaf and hard of hearing people are now able to access the Australian Sports Museum and receive the same information as to their mainstream counterparts.
The “Smart Auslan” technology was developed by a not-for-profit organization, Australian Communication Exchange (ACE), over an 18-month partnership with the museum.
While hundreds of museums across Australia offer audio tours, only the National Sports Museum now offers the equivalent service for Deaf and hearing impaired Australians gain easy access to the same information through a Smartphone device.
Up until now, Deaf Australians have had to either pay for their own Auslan interpreter or wait for a scheduled Auslan tour to fully appreciate the cultural experiences on offer at museums.
Brent Phillips, President of Deaf Sports Australia attended the launch and presented a speech offering the organization’s full support for the initiative.
“Melbourne has a very rich history in sports, especially within the deaf community given that we have one of the oldest deaf cricket club of over 100 years old, the Australian Deaf Games being held since 1964, and the Deaflympic Games were held in this city in 2005” says Brent, “As a result, it is very fitting that the Smart Auslan program is launched at the Melbourne Sports Museum”.
DSA’s Patron, Kevan Gosper AO was also in attendance. Kevan has also provided commentary descriptions for some of the museums’ displays. Each year, approximately 150,000 people visit the National Sports Museum and listen to audio descriptions of iconic exhibitions.
Smart Auslan provides Deaf and hearing impaired Australians with the same access to the museum display descriptions in Auslan sign language videos that can be accessed by scanning Quick Response (QR) codes with Android-powered Smartphone.