Probably the only one that will work properly. A young Canberra boy, who learned sign language to help his deaf friend at school, has won a special humanity award from the Fred Hollows Foundation.
Ross Kelly, a Year Six student at Amaroo Primary School, stepped forward to learn Auslan when his friend Isam Gurung first came to the school a year ago. Ross said his friend found it very difficult to settle into a mainstream school in Canberra after being at a specialist school in Sydney.
"He came and he was very, very shy he didn't want to come to class the first few days," Ross said. He said at first things were not easy. "We started out writing notes to each other and I decided this wasn't very efficient because there was always a delay," he said.
"If you write down 'look at that bird there', you write it down and you give it to Isam, [but] the bird's already gone." So Ross took a new tack and began learning the language of Australia's deaf community, Auslan. The school does provide an interpreter for classes, but Ross's role has provided something more valuable.