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Victorian First Auslan Video Interpreting Service

March 17, 2010 | Howard Lichtman

interpreter.pngFrom the Minister for Community Services
Tuesday, 16 March 2010


          Geelong's deaf community are set to benefit from quicker and easier access to Auslan interpreters during consultations thanks to a groundbreaking new Brumby Labor Government service at the Geelong Hospital.

Visiting the Hospital today, Community Services Minister Lisa Neville officially launched the new Video Relay Interpreting Service - the first of its kind in Victoria.

"The Brumby Labor Government is taking action to ensure disability is not a barrier to accessing high quality health care and services across Victoria," Ms Neville said.

"We understand the communication barriers and the unnecessary stress that may be experienced by deaf patients when an interpreter is unavailable, that is why we have invested in this new technology.

"This new service will provide quicker and easier access to interpretive services, particularly in rural areas where there may only be limited availability of local interpreters.

"It is a part of a Brumby Labor Government $2 million boost to improve interpreting services through state-of-the-art information communication technology.

"After a successful six month trial last year, the Video Relay Interpreting Service is being expanded to ten sites across the state, with Geelong Hospital the first to be rolled out."

Ms Neville said the new service will link patients and doctors or other health professionals with an interpreter through high quality video conferencing equipment including video cameras and large TV screens.

"The state-of-the-art equipment is impressive. The screens are large and the picture quality is excellent - it is like having the interpreter in the room with us," she said.

"The new service will minimise the barriers of distance, time and cost involved with providing Auslan interpreters, especially in regional and rural areas across Victoria.

"The Geelong Hospital will now be able to quickly and easily access interpreting services even when an interpreter is not able to be physically present at the hospital."

The service will be rolled out across Victoria beginning with the sites that were a part of the six month trial.

Sites will include Bendigo Health, Latrobe Community Health Service (Gippsland),

Ballarat Business Centre, VicDeaf office (East Melbourne), and the On-Call interpreting service in Melbourne CBD.

An additional three sites will be identified shortly.

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