AUSTRALIA: What sign languages are used in Australia?
Updated: Mar 14
This article can help you answer the following questions:
Where is Australia?
How many Deaf / Hard of Hearing people are in Australia?
There are an estimated 841,500 Deaf and Hard of Hearing in the Australia.
This percentage is a rough estimation: 3.3% of the general population. Lack of research make estimating these numbers difficult. The World Health Organization estimates 5% of the world population has significant hearing loss. Keep in mind that developing nations typically have a much higher number of Deaf and Hard of Hearing populations.
What sign languages are used in Australia?
Auslan or Australian Sign Language
New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL)
Papua New Guinea Sign Language
Aboriginal Sign Languages:
Arrernte Sign Language
Dieri (Diyari) Sign Language (extinct)
Djingili Sign Language (non-Pama–Nyungan)
Jaralde Sign Language (extinct)
Kaititj (Kaytetye): Akitiri Sign Language
Kalkutungu Sign Language (extinct)
Manjiljarra Sign Language
Mudbura Sign Language
Ngada Sign Language
Pitha Pitha Sign Language (extinct)
Torres Strait Islander Sign Language
Umpila Sign Language
Warlmanpa Sign Language
Warlpiri Sign Language
Warluwara Sign Language (extinct)
Warumungu (Warramunga) Sign Language
Western Desert Sign Language (Kardutjara, Yurira Watjalku)
Worora Kinship Sign Language
Yir Yoront Sign Language
Yolŋu (Murngin) Sign Language
Written / spoken languages in Australia:
almost 400 Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait languages originally
How do you say Australia in sign language?
Where can I learn Australian Sign Language online?
InterSign University offers online Auslan / Australia Sign Language courses. Register here:
What Deaf organizations are located in Australia?
The Deaf Society of NSW
Description: Works within the community to ensure that Deaf people achieve their full rights and fulfill their responsibilities as Australian citizens. Their website has links to more deaf organizations in Australia.
Description: This organization disseminates information; organizes events for the Deaf community; lobbies with the Australian government to ensure Deaf people receive what they need; and organizes activities for youth ages 12 to 17 and 18 to 30. Website has links to more Australian deaf organizations.
Description: Provides services and education to those impacted by hearing loss and works for an equitable and inclusive Tasmanian community.
Description: AAD represents, promotes, preserves, and informs the development of the Australian Deaf community, its language, and cultural heritage. It advocates for policy reform to account for the rights of deaf people.
Description: Deaf Children Australia is a not-forprofit organization that provides information, advocacy, support services and educational resources that respond to the needs of deaf and hearing impaired children and young adults and their families. Website has links to more Australian and international deaf organizations.
Deaf Sports Recreation Victoria
Description: Deaf Sports Recreation Victoria (DSRV) provides opportunities for excellence in sport for all in administration, athletes, coaching, development, fundraising and partnerships.
Description: VCOD, led and controlled by Deaf Victorians, lobbies, advocates, and shares information to ensure that full access is achieved for Deaf people.
Description (MIUSA): VICDEAF provides referral, advice, and support services for Deaf and hard of hearing people in Victoria, Australia.
Additional sign language resources for Australia
We will update this section as more information becomes available.