A message from David Parker, Community Manager for Ephpheta Centre
International Day of Sign Languages
23 September 2020
Hello! I am David Parker and I am Deaf. I use Auslan all my life and I am an Auslan teacher. I am the community manager for Ephpheta. I would like to present a quick message to say in Auslan (Australian Sign Language) that Ephpheta Centre will get involved and help celebrate the International Day of Sign Languages.
Why is this special event on 23 September? The International Day of Languages was proclaimed by UN General Assembly and that the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) was established on 23 September 1951.
According to the World Federation of the Deaf, there are approximately 72 million deaf people worldwide. More than 80% of them live in developing countries. Collectively, they use more than 300 different sign languages.
Sign language is the natural language of deaf people. In Australia, deaf people use Australian Sign Language which is called “Auslan”. Auslan was recognised by the Australian government as the preferred language of the Deaf community in 1987.
So why is sign language important? With sign language, deaf people can do anything! Education, work, family, faith and friends – with sign language, barriers to communication and access disappear. Sign language is so important to deaf people and all people if we want our world to be inclusive.
Ephpheta Centre is a deaf-friendly space and uses Auslan daily for all sorts of activities. We have accessible Catholic services in Auslan. Mass services are interpreted by trained Auslan interpreters. The Ephpheta Centre runs many different activities with inclusion in mind for all deaf and hard of hearing people. The Ephpheta team is proudly Auslan competent!
The Ephpheta team would like to acknowledge the invaluable support of Archdiocese of Sydney, Diocese of Parramatta and the Diocese of Broken Bay.
May God bless you all.
The Parramatta Catholic Foundation proudly supports the Ephpheta Centre, which offers access and support to those who are hard of hearing and deaf. Many rely on the Ephpheta Centre for its sacramental programs, pastoral care and social support. The Ephpheta Centre is also considered another family and home. It is a place of welcome, hope and acceptance.
We invite you to celebrate inclusion by giving a gift to support the Ephpheta Centre.