Sign Language

Sign languages are used by people with hearing impairments, their families and those who educate and work with them. There are individual sign languages in many countries around the world.

Auslan, [Australia Sign Language], is the official sign language used in Australia. It is similar to British and New Zealand Sign languages, but different from the English language in both structure and vocabulary forms. There is often variation in the language relating to both place and person [age and education]. Auslan also includes Fingerspelling.

Signed English was used for some time but is now considered undesirable. Sign Language has been used in Australia since at least the middle of the 19th century.

This page gives access to Auslan courses, dictionaries, grammar, vocabulary, tutorials, other resources and information. A second section of the page provides links to other sign languages from around the world. These are only provided for your information.

Auslan - Australian Sign Language

Hand sign for Auslan, courtesy of Auslan Signbank.

Dictionary, medical and health dictionary, grammar examples on video, videos of deaf people using Auslan, links to classes, information on the deaf community in Australia. Brilliant !

Auslan - What is it ?

  • Auslan
    Recognition and status; History; Auslan in relation to English; Acquisition and nativeness; Variation and standardisation; Written and recorded Auslan; References; Further reading; External links. Wikipedia.
  • Auslan - About Sign Language
    ‘What is Auslan [Australian Sign Language] ?; Auslan is its own language; Is Sign Language universal ?; How did Auslan evolve ?; Using Auslan in Australia’. Includes text information, videos and more. You should also check their Evolution of Auslan page.
  • Auslan Explained [deafConnectEd]
    ‘Auslan, or Australian Sign Language, is the language of the Australian Deaf community. Background; What it is; What Auslan is; What Auslan is not’.
  • Australian Sign Language [Aussie Deaf Kids]
    ‘Auslan [Australian Sign Language] is the language used by the Australian Deaf community. Where did sign languages come from ?; How do children learn sign languages ?; Sign language variation; Fingerspelling; Early exposure to sign language : an advantage to parents and children and Auslan Resources’.
  • History of Auslan
    Auslan Signbank article. Part of the larger Auslan Signbank site detailed with the video above.
  • Sign Language - Auslan
    Better Health Channel, Victoria. ‘The evolution of Auslan; Elements of sign language; Learning Auslan; Other forms of communication for people who are deaf; and Where to get help’.
  • New !Evolution of Sign Language [Australian Baby Hands]
    ‘I wrote this article as many people have emailed me asking what the difference is between Auslan and ASL. By writing Australian Baby Hands I hoped to help parents bridge the communication gap with their baby and spread the word about Auslan and what a wonderful language it is’.
  • Understanding Auslan [DeafNav]
    Basic introduction prior to links to learning Auslan.

Learning Auslan

Australia Wide

  • New !Auslan
    ‘Learn Auslan with Deaf Children Australia ! Sign up today and register for our range of classes. We offer one on one tutoring, Auslan Online and group or individual Auslan for Families courses’.
  • New !Auslan Courses - Sign Language Australia
    ‘Sign Language Australia has various non-accredited courses to suit your needs. Participants will receive learning materials such as student workbooks, Quizlet and Dropbox videos [vocabulary and dialogues]’.
  • Auslan - The Australian Curriculum
    ‘The formal study of Auslan contributes to the overall intellectual and social enrichment of both first language [L1] and second language [L2] learners by providing opportunities for engagement with the Deaf community and insight into its rich cultural heritage. Pathways, sequences and year levels’.
  • New !Community Classes - Deaf Services
    ‘Deaf Services offers a range of Auslan classes aimed at introducing basic Auslan conversational skills to participants’.
  • New !Courses for Qualifications in Auslan - The Deaf Society
    ‘Courses that qualify students in Auslan are suited to people working in or interested in the disability sector, education sector or interpreting. You will learn to communicate visually using gestures, body language and facial expressions. The course is designed to provide you with the ability to sign and read back signing. It also facilitates an understanding of the sociocultural contexts in which the language is used’.
  • New !Learn Auslan Online - Deaf Can:Do
    ‘Always wanted to learn sign language ? Deaf Can:Do are now offering Auslan [Australian Sign Language] courses online’.
  • Learn Auslan Sign Language
    Listing of courses and places where they are run. Done by states. Other information.
  • MySkills
    Information about this ‘Certificate II in Auslan - This course is a JobTrainer eligible course’






  • Updated !TasDeaf
    ‘Our Australian Sign Language [Auslan] courses are the perfect place to start learning Auslan to communicate with people who are Deaf’.




  • New !Auslan Anywhere
    ‘When using Auslan Anywhere, learners can submit requests on the app and ask how words or short phrases are signed. Creators respond to learner requests by posting short videos in Auslan. Auslan Anywhere connects learners to the heart of the language by learning directly from the Deaf community’.
  • Australian Baby Hands
    ‘Imagine being able to communicate with your baby before they can speak while helping their brain and language development. Introducing Australian Baby Hands Baby Sign Language Resources’. Information for parents, products, more.
  • Auslan Corpus
    ‘The Auslan Corpus consists of the movies in the Auslan Archive together with linked linguistic annotation files. Click here for detailed information about the contents Auslan Archive & Corpus’.
  • Aussie Deaf Kids
    Covers a wide range of general resource information from birth to schooling.
  • New !Auslan Dictionary on the App Store
    Apple. ‘Video dictionary for Australian Sign Language. The functionality is simple : You enter a search term, select a word and the app will show you a definition and a video of someone performing the sign’.
  • Auslan Flashcards and Study Sets [Quizlet]
    ‘Browse 105 sets of Auslan flashcards’. Free and Premium sets available. Check other links in the menu on the left.
  • Auslan Fonts
    True Type fonts, Font activity ideas, cards. Also has a selection of American Sign Language fonts. Auslan Resources.
  • New !Auslan - Google Play
    Android. ‘This application was designed to learn and practice Australian Sign Language [AUSLAN] fingerspelling’.
  • Auslan on TV [Deaf Australia]
    ‘Deaf Australia has been advocating for many years for Auslan on TV’. Information on efforts and the success or otherwise of attaining results for these.
  • Auslan Resources
    Includes the Auslan Fonts link provided above, lesson plans and activities for Primary children, resources for VCE Auslan courses, links to other resources, Auslan information.
  • Auslan Resources on Pinterest
    180+ resources have been pinned.
  • Auslan Resources [The Australian Curriculum]
    More than 1 400 Auslan resources linked to the curriculum are listed here.
  • Auslan Space
    ‘This website was founded as a resource site for Auslan teachers. On this website you can find such resources as : Auslan Monologues and Dialogues; Group settings and workshop information; Research materials; Sample lesson plans to assist your teaching; Games and activity ideas for your students; Teaching tips’ and much more.
  • Auslan Storybooks
    ‘Here you will see “books” of stories - in Auslan. Deaf and hearing people of all ages who use Auslan can enjoy a wide range of stories. Enter the Storybook Library and take your pick’.
  • Auslan Teaching Resources [Teach Starter]
    ‘A collection of resources to help support learning and use of Auslan sign language in the classroom. Use flash cards, games and activities to help practise and learn sign language. Resources include Auslan sign for numbers, letters, nouns and everyday language. Read our blogs to gain ideas and strategies to promote awareness to support those students who rely on Auslan sign language. You can even integrate sign activities into lessons, such as time with out analogue clock resource’.
  • Auslan Translation Videos : The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
    Australian Government Department of Social Services. 12 videos and ‘An English text copy of the caption transcript for each video chapter is provided [PDF and Word formats]’.
  • AUSLAN Resources [TAFE New South Wales]
    ‘Use the page tabs [above] to find relevant online and library resources : Welcome - will help you find books and DVDs in the Library; eResources - access to online journals and lots more; Web Resources - a collection of relevant websites and web resources; Research Help - covers research skills, referencing, plagiarism and more’.
  • Bilby Publishing
    Annotated links to a wide range of sign language materials, including Auslan DVDs and Auslan Dictionaries.
  • Deaf Australia - The Auslan Shop
    ‘Your destination for Auslan and Deaf Community resources such as Books, Games, Visual learning tools CDs and DVDs’ and more.
  • Getting Started with Key Word Sign [Auslan Edition]
    ‘Learn how to use Key Word Sign with training, resources and more. Key word signing uses a core vocabulary of words to communicate concepts and ideas. Each word [concept] is matched to an Auslan hand sign’.


  • Auslan Services
    ‘A leading provider of Auslan interpreters’. Information on Auslan and Auslan training.
  • Australian Sign Language Interpreters Association [ASLIA]
    ‘The national peak organisation representing the interests of Auslan/English Interpreters and Deaf Interpreters in Australia’. Check the Resources and PD & Events sections for specific resources.
  • NABS [National Auslan Interpreter Booking Service]
    ‘ NABS provides interpreters for Deaf, Deafblind and hard of hearing people who use sign language and would like an interpreter for private health care appointments. NABS is free to people who are not eligible for NDIS [National Disability Insurance Scheme]’.
  • Printable Worksheets - Auslan
    ‘Some of the worksheets displayed are Sign language 1, Farm animals, Auslan dictionary topic colours, Contents, . . . Once you find your worksheet, click on the pop-out icon or the download icon’.
  • RIDBC Auslan Tutor
    ‘A portable video-based Australian Sign Language [Auslan] teaching resource developed specifically for mobile devices. It is available for download on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch on the App Store and Android™ devices on Google Play. Due to the size of the RIDBC Auslan Tutor [812 MB], it may take some time to download. Note : Auslan Tutor: Key Signs is a free, reduced version application that contains 150 key signs’.
  • Updated !Signs of Australia – A New Dictionary of Auslan
    Purchase directly from The Auslan Shop at Deaf Australia Inc.. You might also consider The Survival Guide to Auslan, described as ‘a Beginner’s pocket dictionary of Australian Sign Language. A perfect reference book for anyone who wants to learn Auslan’.


This is only a small selection of videos. Search for more, or use links on the right of a number of these pages.

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Other Sign Languages

American Sign Language

  • American Sign Language
    ‘American Sign Language University is a resource site for ASL students and teachers. Here you will find information and resources to help you learn ASL and improve your signing’.
  • ASL Fingerspelling
    ‘This ASL fingerspelling site is a little tool I put together to help my college ASL students get some receptive fingerspelling practice. It isn’t perfect, but it seems to help so I figured I’d share it with the world. If it is of use to you, great !’
  • Handspeak
    ‘Learn Sign Language; Vocabulary; Grammar; Culture; Fingerspelling; ASL Writing; Resources’. More than 3 000 signs.
  • Start American Sign Language
    ‘With Start ASL’s complete course you will learn true American Sign Language so you can join any signed conversation with complete confidence’.
  • What are the best free resources for learning American Sign Language ?
    Quora. 16 people provide these, often with numerous links from each person. Many teach or use the language.
  • Baby Sign Language
    ‘Baby sign language is a great way to help you communicate with your pre-verbal baby. Baby sign language helps babies that are ready to communicate, but can’t talk bridge the gap to full speech’. Basics, dictionary, flash cards, more.
  • British Sign Language
    Within Britain the most common form of Sign Language is called British Sign Language [BSL]. ‘Online signing course; Online BSL Dictionary; Word Search; Word Search Maker; Fingerspelling Challenge; Fingerspelling Word Creator’. Extensive detail from the menu at the top of the page
  • Irish Sign Language
    A second page from is found here.

New Zealand Sign Language

  • Learn NZSL
    ‘Learn NZSL is a free learning portal on New Zealand Sign Language [NZSL]. Watch, learn and practise how to use NZSL in common situations, shown as nine topics below. Within each topic, you’ll find plenty of videos, resources and exercises to keep you busy’.
  • NZ Sign Language
    ‘New Zealand Sign Language is one of the official languages of New Zealand. It has developed over time within the New Zealand Deaf community and is central to Deaf people’s access to society, sense of identity and wellbeing’.
  • New Zealand Sign Language Dictionary
    ‘Explore the NZSL Dictionary by : Keyword Search in English/Māori languages; Visual Search by hand shape and body location; Browse over 50 topics; Learn about fingerspelling alphabet, numbers, and classifiers’.
  • Sign Language Alphabets From Around The World
    ‘Let’s take a trip around the world to explore sign languages, their stories and their finger alphabets. The journey to communicating globally begins here !’ A second page [from Deafness Forum of Australia] is found here.
  • South African Sign Language
    Status; linguistic features; history; external links. Wikipedia.
  • SpreadTheSign - Sign Language Dictionary
    ‘We have gathered suggestions of signs from different sign languages around the world. Just use the search box and type the word you would like to search for’. Each has a small video for that word in each language. Select your home language from the option at the top right.

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