Australia's 2021 Census

9 August 2021

The following story is an extract of an article from SBS.

The census will take place on Tuesday 10 August, with extra support and resources available for people who are Deaf and hard of hearing.

This year's national census will be the most inclusive and accessible survey yet, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). The ABS upgrades to the 2021 Census website have earned it an AA rating with the World Wide Web Consortium’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.

Gavin Balharrie is Deaf and president of Expression Australia. He described the system as “world-class” and said it had raised the standard for organisations and how they cater for people’s needs.

Deaf and hard of hearing people who want to participate in the national survey online will now have more than 60 videos featuring instructions using Australian Sign Language.

Signing his response to a question about what made the census website so special, Mr Balharrie said the inclusion of Auslan was critical. He said many websites had closed captioned language options but not everyone in the community could understand them.

“I really applaud the Australian Bureau of Statistics for improving the census this year and acknowledging that Auslan is the primary language for most deaf people in Australia and that’s really the only language that some of our members do understand,” he said.

“It is really important to focus more widely on providing that access so our community have access to resources and access to content so that they can answer accurately.”

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