People Builders

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Innovative Strategy for Business to Reach New Clients. How many of us stop to think how difficult it must be for profoundly Deaf and Hearing Impaired people when it comes to accessing local businesses and services?Most of us never consider how hard it would be even to buy a coffee! However, two local women, Allyson Costanzo and Natalie Brondsema have! Ms Brondsema – a Community Services student at TAFE is also a support worker at Access Community Educational Services (for people with disabilities). “After observing the communication barriers and frustrations experienced by a Deaf co-worker and a Deaf friend, I came up with a plan of action. Allyson & I will be hosting a BUSINESS USING FINGERTIPS FORUM to raise awareness amongst the local business community” said Ms Brondsema.
The forum, on Saturday 27 August, will start at 9.30am for a 10.00am start and conclude at 12.00noon. However, they are offering the chance to stay until 12.30pm to learn the Auslan (Deaf Signing) Alphabet.  This innovative Forum is being hosted by People Builders which is underneath Panthers at Settlement City.
In the future, Allyson and Natalie plan to provide the Deaf community with a directory of “Deaf friendly” businesses and services.  “We feel this would be a real “win-win” for the Deaf community and the businesses represented at the Forum. It will also help us build a stronger community together” agreed Elaine Jackson and Robyn Maunder – two local Deaf women. For those who wish to improve their services to the Deaf Community, there will be follow-up workshops.
We were so excited to support this Forum”, said Ms Costanzo who is on team at People Builders, a local volunteer based Community Services Centre. “At People Builders, we endeavour to encourage, equip and empower people so this is a perfect fit for us”.
The People Builders Centre also offers one to one support to the Deaf and Hearing Impaired community through Auslan Sign Language. They also offer basic, intermediate and advanced Auslan Classes for anyone wanting to learn sign language.  These classes can lead to further education in TAFE for those wishing to pursue further study.
People Builders also hosts monthly Social Nights for Deaf and hearing people to bridge the communication gap. These evenings generally consist of TAFE students and Deaf people coming together to build friendships and give a platform for the students to practise their skills.
All local businesses, service providers and any others interested are invited to attend the Forum. For more information please contact Allyson Costanzo on 6583-2566 or email to to confirm your attendance at the Forum.

One Response to People Builders

  1. Fiona Hokin says:

    Hooray Hooray! Finally people will see that deaf people are not stupid or idiots.. They are the same as everyone else except they cannot hear. Can you imagine what a lonely life these people have when no-one even attempts to talk to them and everyone around them is talking but not explaining what is being said! Just a bunch of mouths flapping away! It’s as easy as writing on a piece of paper and waiting for a reply written back from them, or if you feel a bit more adventurous, actually trying to learn just the simplest of signs. You only need imagination for signing if you don’t know how. Just do the same actions as if you were doing it. Eg like having a drink. Hold your hand up to your mouth as if you were having a drink. A little imagination goes a long way with a deaf person. The sooner the government and employers treat them with a little more respect the better instead of treating them like they have a disease. A lot more understanding is needed. They are the forgotten disablity.

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