Deaf (with capital ‘D’) is used to describe those people who use Auslan to communicate, and identify themselves as members of the signing Deaf community. These people may also identify themselves as ‘Culturally Deaf’ as they are more likely to have been born deaf, or became deaf early in life, are pre-lingually deaf (became deaf before they learned to speak) and use sign language as their main or preferred way to communicate.
Organisations that can offer more information:
Deaf Australia is the national peak advocacy and information organisation in Australia for Deaf people who are bilingual – using both English and Auslan (Australian Sign Language). Deaf Australia advises government, industry, and service providers about the needs and views of Deaf people, and work to improve Deaf people’s access in a range of areas.
Deafblind Australia (formerly Australian DeafBlind Council ADBC) was set up as an advocacy organisation for people with deafblindness and their families, following the National Deafblind Conference in Melbourne in 1993. Deafblind Australia educates members of the public and relevant government organisations about deafblindness.
Deafness Forum of Australia
Deafness Forum of Australia is the national peak body representing all interests and viewpoints of the one-in-six Australians who are deaf, deafblind, have a hearing loss or a chronic ear or balance disorder, and the families who support them.