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Tuesday, 10 September 1985
Page: 353

(Question No. 145)

Senator Reid asked the Minister representing the Minister for Health, upon notice, on 26 March 1985:

1. What counselling services are available for deaf persons in the Australian Capital Territory.

2. How many interpreters are available to attend counselling sessions with deaf persons in the Australian Capital Territory and by whom are such interpreters employed.

Senator Grimes —The Minister for Health has provided the following answer to the honour- able senator's question:

1. The Australian Capital Territory Health Authority offers no specific counselling service for the deaf. Medical practitioners and other health professionals employed by the Authority provide counselling as an integral part of their normal professional activities. The Authority's Independent Living Centre at Macquarie provides advice and counselling about aids for the disabled, including the deaf. Community groups involved with problems of the deaf advertise the provision of counselling services. Advertising and information material is freely available from the Authority's ground floor Information Centre.

2. The Authority is aware of only one deaf interpreter in the Australian Capital Territory. This person is self-employed and is understood to work with community agencies. The National Accreditation Authority (NAATI) is responsible for the accreditation of sign language interpreters in the Australian Capital Territory as well as all translators and interpreters. Advice to the from NAATI is that there are no interpreters for the deaf accredited in the Australian Capital Territory at any level.