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Soundfair's monthly digest of the latest research, accessibility and representation news, including opportunities to get involved.

What's been happening in May

Accessibility News

Xbox Party Chat will now support transcribing speech into text and synthesis of speech from text

These features can be used to help gamers who are deaf or hard of hearing and/or cannot or choose not to speak to participate in Xbox Party Chat without special accommodation from others in the party.

Microsoft has recently announced a 5-year plan to improve #accessibility to people with #disabilities

In this interview, Microsoft's Chief Accessibility Officer Jenny Lay-Flurrie, who has #hearingloss herself, talks more about her role and goals.

Our Community in the News

I’ve always been terrified of losing my hearing – but when it happened, I craved silence

Most people assume that when you go deaf the world gradually gets turned down. The reality is anything but. By Fiona Murphy.

Nothing funny about hearing loss - as my child knows

Hearing loss is a serious challenge that brings with it many frustrations for a diverse range of people. By Megan Blandford.

Get Involved

Join us for a night of storytelling! 

On Thursday 3 June, Soundfair is hosting “Yarn Night”, an opportunity for us to share experiences and hear the voices of the HoH and D/deaf community. Check out our fantastic line-up of speakers and RSVP today! The event will be held online via Zoom and have closed-captions and Auslan interpretation available.

Deaf Children Australia Youth Grants

Are you deaf or hard of hearing and 15 – 23 years old? Did you know you can apply for a grant of up to $2,500 to help you achieve a personal goal or project? 


Hearing Services Program Review - Draft Report

On 14 August 2020, the Hon Mark Coulton, Minister for Regional Health, Regional Communications and Local Government, announced a review into the Hearing Services Program. Stakeholder and community consultation is a key part of the Review. Interested parties can provide feedback on the Draft Report via a short written submission (3 page limit) through the Consultation Hub. Submissions close at noon AEST on Thursday, 24 June 2021.


Research Opportunities

Would you like to change the hearing health system in Australia?

  • Soundfair and Deaf Victoria are conducting focus groups to find out more about the experiences of Deaf and HoH people throughout the pandemic and how to best disseminate information to various cohorts, addressing multiple communication needs. The focus group will be held on Thursday 3rd June 2021 from 3pm until 5pm at the JML Centre – Expression Australia on Level 3, 340 Albert Street East Melbourne VIC 3002. Afternoon tea will be provided. To RSVP, please email using “SoundFair & Deaf Victoria Inc. – #COVID-19 Focus Group”. If you have any additional accessibility requirements such as live-captioning, please let us know as soon as possible so we can organise this. Auslan-English interpreters will be provided.
  • Arts Access Victoria is asking Victorian music workers (e.g. sound engineers and musicians) about their experience of deafness and/or disability in the music industry. If you'd like to participate anonymously, click here.


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