Having been established in the year 1985, the deaf Lottery Australia is the only deaf Lottery organization in operation in the entire country. The organization raises funds, through the sale of draw tickets, and channels them into various programs that work towards attending to the needs of the deaf and the hard of hearing community. So by purchasing tickets in any Deaf lottery draw, you will not only stand a chance to make your lifestyle dream come to life but you will also be part of a noble cause that seeks to support services and programs aimed at making the lives of deaf people and hard of hearing community bearable.
Apart from raising funds to help in supporting the vital services offered to the disadvantaged group of deaf people, you get a chance to win one out of four options of grand lifestyle prizes. The Deaf lottery conducts 7 lotteries every year with tickets going at an affordable price of $2 each. The money collected from the sales goes a long way to support several services and programs that are tailored to for the deaf.
One of the most prominent services and information provider for the deaf and hearing impaired community is the Deaf Services Queensland. The organization aims at providing services that enable the deaf to lead full and independent lives. This they do by empowering and connecting the hearing impaired community and the deaf hence propelling them towards achieving their dreams through advocacy, referral, aged care, community education, independent living skills support and providing information.
Providing all these services can be a costly affair. This is the reason why the deaf Lottery was set up so as to raise funds from the public through sale of lottery draw tickets. The money collected goes a long way to boost these helpful services provided to the deaf and hearing impaired community. Without a regular sustainable funding, many of these noble programs would eventually collapse. However, due to the generosity of the Australian people, and the lotteries draws, these services continue to get a lifeline hence enabling the deaf to lead normal lives.
How the money is used
The money raised through sale of tickets in the lotteries is channeled into many helpful programs and services for the hard to hear and deaf people. Some of these activities include:
- The Smoke Subsidy Scheme
- Auslan interpreting
- Auslan Translations
- Employment support services
- Independent living support
- Children and families support
- Deafness awareness training
Perhaps the most notable of these services are the Smoke Subsidy Scheme, Auslan Translations and Children and families support.
The Smoke Alarm Subsidy Scheme for the Deaf
This is a scheme that aims at providing subsidized fire alarms to all eligible deaf and hearing impaired Australians. It is a joint effort between the local governments and fire rescue services. Many hearing impaired and deaf people have received or continue to receive assistance from this scheme, especially in Queensland state where all homes and caravans , whether rented or owned, must be fitted with smoke alarm in good working condition, as required by Smoke alarm laws.
For the sake of the deaf and hearing impaired community, the specialized smoke alarms are fitted with a vibrating pad which can be placed under a pillow and gets activated whenever smoke alarms sound. A standard smoke alarm costs about $50, however, one with a vibrating pad costs up to $400 which might be definitely costly for the deaf people. However, through the scheme initiated by Deaf Lottery, the deaf and impaired hearing people can get the smoke alarm, which comes with a vibrating pad, at $50 only with the rest covered for them. All deaf people with the right documentation are eligible to apply for the scheme.
The deaf lottery also makes it possible for the valuable Auslan translation service to be offered to the deaf and hearing impaired communities of Australia. This involves translating written information into Auslan (Australian Sign Language) for the hearing impaired and deaf community. The printed content is filmed into video footage hence giving the hearing impaired and deaf community members an opportunity to comprehend complex content in Australian sign language (Auslan),which happens to be their first language.
Auslan translations allow members of the deaf community, with English as their second language, to understand information in a better way. Already proving to be a crucial resource the in the whole country, establishment of Auslan Translation services addresses the following major issues:
- A greater engagement between the deaf community and Government or Non-Government organizations hence getting rid of barriers created by attitudes of deafness in the wider society.
- Greater access to important information through Auslan, which strengthens access to Government and Non-government programs and services, by the deaf people.
- Promotion of the skills and abilities of the hearing impaired community to the general society.
- Empowering and connecting deaf people hence propelling them towards achieving their goals whenever they try to get information or programs from both government and non-government organizations.
A number of government agencies, including the Australian Bureau of statistics, residential Tenancies Authority and the department of Communities, together with several local Government bodies have embraced this service for the purpose of making sure that any information they churn out is easily available for the deaf and hearing impaired community. Hopefully, soon we will have all Government departments as well as other corporate agencies translating vital documents, programs and services into Auslan for the sake of the members of the members of the deaf community.
Children and families support
Children who are deaf or hearing impaired need early intervention for them to acquire a language fluently within the early stages of language learning age and also their families should be able to communicate with them effectively. This will be very helpful since about 83% of deaf or hard of hearing children are known to attend mainstream schools.
Campaigns are underway to push for the offering of bilingual early intervention programs nationwide. These programs will be aimed at placing equal emphasis and value on both English and Auslan together with access to listening or speech therapy and Auslan. Support programs for immediate family members and parents should also be provided.