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Resource development projects - Q&A with Marg Tope

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VDEI interviewed Marg Tope from the Bendigo Deaf Facility about the Auslan readers they are developing in collaboration with VDEI. 

VDEI: Thanks for agreeing to be interviewed, Marg! Please tell us how you identified the need for this project? 

Marg Tope:  Yes, certainly! The Auslan Reader project as I titled it for the application I wrote, came about from observing inconsistent and often inaccurate translation of an English text into Auslan with regard to the take home reader we ask children to read with an adult each night.  The intent behind the Auslan Reader project is to provide a model for naive signers to learn from and to provide consistency for the child who may also be acquiring sign skills. 

VDEI: Can you tell us how you went about starting the process with the books? 

Marg Tope:  The process involved:
  • Forming partnerships with the publishers of the readers
  • Forming partnerships with ‘experts’ in Auslan
  • Forming partnerships with a film maker

VDEI: Has the material been trialled? 

The material is currently being trialled in a primary setting with deaf children and also as a resource for an Auslan LOTE program.

VDEI: How is the material going to be available? 

Marg Tope: The intent is to make the material created to be available to those who see an application for a resource such as this.  The nuts and bolts of the process of access is yet to be refined.

VDEI: Have you noticed any change in students reading skills or enthusiasm after using the signed version of the take home reading material?  Have you had any feedback from parents about how this material has impacted on their children? 

Marg Tope: Feedback from the one school currently trialling the material has come from staff and has been enthusiastic for having another resource to draw on and for the intent of the Auslan Reader project itself. 

VDEI: Thanks for your time Marg.  Good luck with the project!