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How Auslan Education Services Scales Learning in Minutes

Auslan, short for Australian Sign Language, is the primary means of communication for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Australia. Ever since the Australian bushfires of 2019–2020, when interpreters were put on TV during alerts, interest in Auslan has grown tremendously across the country.

However, due to an ongoing teacher shortage, compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic, many schools needed their language specialists to assume traditional classroom teaching positions. Add to that the lack of qualified Auslan teachers to begin with, and you can start to imagine the significant challenges Australian schools faced.

Video Makes Education Accessible

To meet the growing needs of Australian schools, Auslan Education Services (AES) was founded in 2021 to teach children Auslan through video lessons. The comprehensive seven-year program is curriculum-aligned and accompanied by a teacher planner that guides teachers through each lesson.

“I knew a lot about Auslan and how to teach it,” said Paula Grimmer, CEO of AES, “but not how to put it in videos or how to produce any of that.”

AES started out in a bedroom with a homemade green screen and videos distributed via USB drives. But as the positive feedback and interest grew, they knew they needed a more sustainable approach. A friend of Grimmer’s who worked for the New South Wales Department of Education recommended Brightcove.

“Because he worked for the Education Department, I knew any platform they used would have to be safe for education,” Grimmer explained. “So I contacted Brightcove and we had a meeting. I told them ‘I know nothing, you're going to have to help me with everything.’”

Brightcove Makes Video Available

AES needed a way to give schools their own dedicated video pages that were customized to fit their grade levels. With easy-to-use templates and single sign-on security, Brightcove Gallery was just what they needed.

Starting with templates Brightcove helped create, AES was able to streamline the process to make it both easy and efficient. Grimmer remarks, “We just go into Brightcove, find our template, duplicate that page, change the name of the school, set up the grade levels, and that’s it. It’s so easy.”

When videos are uploaded they go straight to playlists, which are then added to collections on the pages. “It only takes a few minutes,” says AES Media Manager, Luke Parker. “I'll create the collection, link it to the playlist, and it's done. Probably takes as long as it took me to say that.”

Not only are the templates and collections easy to use, the schools agree that the video pages are equally user friendly and easy to navigate.

AES Makes Equality Achievable

Initially, AES planned to offer their program locally in Victoria and secure five schools who wanted to incorporate the video Auslan lessons. Instead, over 30 schools enrolled in their program within their first year.

Today, AES has scaled to over 155 schools across Australia, in Victoria, Western Australia, Tasmania, Queensland, New South Wales, and elsewhere. They’ve produced over 500 videos with plans to produce and distribute over 2,800 lessons.

“We really couldn’t get our online lessons out to every school that we do without Brightcove,” concludes Grimmer. “They are our connection to dispersing our content to schools near and far all over Australia.”

With Brightcove’s help, AES is fulfilling its mission to get Auslan in every school and level out the communication barriers between deaf and hearing people.


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