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May 2021
Dear Friends,

The team at Deaf Children Australia continues to adapt and respond to the ever changing landscape, especially as greater Melbourne heads into a 7 day period of COVID Safe measures. We have programs and services that transition to online so we can be right there with you.  

Refining what we do to meet the needs of deaf and hard of hearing children, youth and their families across Australia is of key importance. To this, we are launching the Flying Colours website this year together with our online store. Both are responding to feedback from families. Read on to learn more.


We were happy we were able to run a Family Camp on the 15th to the 16th of May. It was terrific to see deaf and hard of hearing children build confidence and form friendships with kids just like them. It was also a unique opportunity for parents and siblings to develop connections with other families. Thank you to everyone that took part to make it such a special event.
 
We would like to run camps in other states and territories and are keen to partner with other organisations to make this possible. 


Finally, our Platypus Playhouse range is bringing Pip and Annie into your living room - providing invaluable bi-lingual learning tools for deaf and hard of hearing kids!  

Enjoy this edition.

Events and Activities
 
Youth Camp - Victoria

Youth Camp is tailored to year 10 to 12 students under 18 years of age. The activities we run will help participants develop positive self-esteem, confidence, improve communication skills and create new friends - they'll have fun too!. All great skills to draw from when taking part in social and community activities. Lear more - Youth Camp.

Get Connected - 12 to 15 years
In July, our online mentoring course, Get Connected, will offer a fun and engaging way for deaf and hard of hearing youth aged 12 to 15 years, to connect with one another. Building confidence and friendships in a safe and supportive environment, attendees will work with deaf mentors and develop new skills over the course of four weeks. Get Connected begins 29 July. Register now to book a spot at Get Connected. 
 

News and Updates
 
Family Camp - Victoria

Family Camp was held on the 15th and 16th of May and was attended by 25 families. There were lots of smiley, happy faces on everyone, it was terrific to see, so much fun was had by all. The feedback we have received will help inform future family events. Stay in touch with us to learn more in the coming months. In the meantime, let us know what family activities you would like us to run at communications@deafchildren.org.au

Help Deaf Youth Dream Big!
With the support of our generous donors, Nicholas Layton was able to show the world what he's made of - representing Victoria at the Australian Swimming Championships in Queensland in April this year.

Last November, Nicholas broke the Deaf Short Course World Record for the 50m Butterfly.

The kindness of our donors can help to change lives, and it's so exciting to see how it has helped Nicholas on his journey. Read more about Nicholas' story.  
Youth Grants
Our national Youth Grants program provides opportunities for young people who are deaf or hard of hearing to accomplish whatever they set their mind to. Applications for our 2021 Youth Grants are now open until June 6. Youth Grants provide young people with a platform to showcase their abilities and achieve their goals. Find out more about our Youth Grants program on our website.
Platypus Playhouse
Platypus Playhouse is now in the final stages of development, and will be released in June via our new online store. Kids will enjoy the adventures of Pip and Annie as they explore their world and in doing so develop their Auslan and English. A wide range of interactive learning resources are available to inspire imaginations to run free. 

These learning tools are designed to support both kids and parents as they begin their Auslan journey. The shop will launch at deafchildrenaustralia.org.au in the coming weeks.
Flying Colours
We are developing a website called Flying Colours to help families with a deaf or hard of hearing child. Launching in July, it will deliver information, tailored resources, research, engaging kids activities, an interactive map to connect you with support services, ways to meet other families, mentors and more. 

We are still asking families, carers, and Allied Health Professionals to complete the Flying Colours Survey. Sharing your experiences will help us deliver what families need. Learn more and access the survey on the Flying Colours website

 

Sign for Work News
 
School Leaver Employment Supports (SLES)
If you or someone you know is in their final year of school and have SLES in their current NDIS plan, Sign for Work can help with planning and preparing young people for work. Find out more about how we can help at Sign for Work!
Finding, Keeping and Changing Jobs
Sign For Work can also assist you through Finding, Keeping and Changing Jobs if it is built into your NDIS Plan. We can match you with the job you want so you can achieve your career goals. Discover more on the Sign for Work website.
Meet the team 
Please meet Melissa
Melissa is one of our amazing Support Coordinators here at Deaf Children Australia. She started working with us about a year ago and always looks forward to helping deaf clients to achieve their goals and become independent. 

Born deaf from unknown causes, Melissa has a deaf sister, two hearing brothers, and hearing parents. Melissa is a big traveller - taking every opportunity to travel the world. In fact, she met her husband in Montreal! Melissa spent a lot of time living in London, before her family moved back to Australia in 2015. Prior to joining our Support Coordination team, Melissa had worked with the CSIRO for a year and a half, and has a son who is now 12 years old.

Melissa can sign in five different sign languages, including Auslan, BSL (British Sign Language), ASL (American Sign Language), Arabic Sign Language and Cued Speech. Cued Speech is a form of communication that uses both hand signals and mouth movements to communicate phonemes, making spoken language more easily accessible to those who are deaf and hard of hearing.  Learn more about how Melissa and the team support participants - Support Coordination.

Have some advice for the next edition of Flying Kites?
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DEAF CHILDREN AUSTRALIA
597 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne, Victoria 3004. PO BOX 6466, Melbourne, Victoria 3004
Helpline 1800 645 916 (free call) ACN 108 025 207 ABN 57 108 025 207
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Deaf Children Australia · 597 St Kilda Road · Melbourne, Victoria 3004 · Australia