Sign For Work Toowong and Gold Coast Offices Now Open!

DCA and Sign for Work moved to the new offices in Toowong and the Gold Coast in early July. Both offices are now open and ready to help you with your employment needs!

The new office addresses are:

Toowong Office
Suite 202B, Toowong Tower
9 Sherwood Road
Toowong, QLD 4066
Hours: Monday – Friday

Gold Coast Office
Gold Coast Business Hub
Level 2, 35 Scarborough St
Southport, QLD 4215
Hours: Tuesdays and Wednesdays

See the below video on how to get to our new Toowong video office. There will also be a guide for the Gold Coast office available soon!

By |July 18th, 2018|Media|Comments Off on Sign For Work Toowong and Gold Coast Offices Now Open!

Sign For Work at the SpotJobs Career Expo

The SpotJobs Career Expo is the largest and most comprehensive careers event in Victoria. This expo encompasses all career opportunities for employment and training in the trades, corporate and professional sectors. It provides an interactive platform for all Victorian’s to source the knowledge they need to acheive their successful future.

Visitors can discover their future careers from a vast array of career advice, employment opportunities, University and training placements, Skills Industry and Government initiatives.

Sign for Work will have a stall at the expo for you to visit with Auslan interpreters!

DATE: Friday 20 – Saturday 22 July
TIME: 10 AM – 3 PM Friday, 10 AM – 4 PM Saturday and Sunday
VENUE: Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre, 1 Convention Centre Place, South Wharf, Melbourne
COST: Tickets are free!
RSVP: Email or text 0449 775 755. Let us know:
– Your name?
– Your school?
– Do you need an interpreter?
– Do you want to talk to a work consultant?
– What time will you come? Pick one hour between 10 AM – 3 PM Friday or 10 AM – 4 PM Saturday/Sunday.

Click on the below picture to download the flyer!

By |July 4th, 2018|Media|Comments Off on Sign For Work at the SpotJobs Career Expo

Sign For Work Expansion

It’s exciting that Sign for Work has received Disability Employment Services (DES) funding for another five years. We have already been providing tailored employment programs to deaf, hard of hearing and hearing clients for over 20 years.

The other terrific news is that we were successful in our bid to open a new office in Southport on the Gold Coast. This site will operate as a Specialist DES provider working with deaf and hard of hearing clients.

Sign for Work has been highly successful in assisting many jobseekers achieve their career goals and this further contract shows that we continue to deliver programs and services that jobseekers, employers and the government value. We will also be able to continue to provide school leavers employment supports (SLES) through the NDIS.

We just farewelled our retiring National Employment Services Manager Lisa Patience so we would like to thank Lisa for her wonderful contribution over the past year. Our staff prepared a beautiful high tea as a fitting way to thank Lisa for everything she has done for the team.

Sign For Work team farewelling Lisa Patience with a high tea

We are excited to announce that David Wilson is our new National Employment Services Manager and he comes with many years of experience within the disability sector where he began as a Speech Pathologist. David has already fitted so well into our team so we are glad to have him with us.

Sign for Work would also like to welcome Rachel Christy. We are very happy to have Rachel join Sign for Work as an Employer Relations Consultant, working to advocate for our ‘job ready’ jobseekers to find placements with suitable employers.


Contact our team if you would like support finding a new job opportunity, managing your current job, leaving school or finding new training opportunities!

New Sign For Work National Employment Services Manager David Wilson with retiring National Employment Services Manager Lisa Patience

By |April 3rd, 2018|Media|Comments Off on Sign For Work Expansion

DCA and Sign for Work Embrace New State Disability Plan ‘Every Opportunity’

Deaf Children Australia applauds the Andrews’ Government’s commitment expressed through ‘Every Opportunity – Victorian economic participation plan for people with disability 2018-2020’. We acknowledge their foresight and determination to increase the social and economic inclusion of Victorians who face a range of barriers on their journey to employment.  As a deaf service provider, Deaf Children Australia (DCA) has been responding to the needs of deaf and hard of hearing children and young people since our inception in 1862 and we truly understand the many complex issues they face with securing employment. DCA’s mission is to inspire and empower deaf and hard of hearing children and young people to reach their full potential. DCA offers our full support for the development of policies to drive change to reduce the social and economic barriers for Victorians.

Twenty years ago, we recognised that young deaf and hard of hearing jobseekers were not meeting their potential and were struggling to build a pathway to meaningful work. We chose to expand our service delivery and created Sign For Work Employment with the remit to provide employment services to deaf and hard of hearing young people and adults.

During this 20 year journey, we have built a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of advocating for, and resolving the needs and challenges of highly disadvantaged jobseekers. We have just been awarded a further five year Disability Employment Service contract to deliver specialist services to jobseekers who are deaf, hard of hearing or dealing with mental health issues.

With the roll out of the NDIS, we are supporting deaf and hard of hearing school leavers to develop appropriate plans, which may include accessing the School Leavers Employment Support (SLES) program. Until SLES becomes available to everyone, DCA is funding an 18 month pilot program, Youth WAVE. This pilot has been specially designed to provide deaf and hard of hearing students with access to activities and information workshops so they can achieve their work or learning goals and includes:

  • Work experience – guidance and preparation for students in Year 9, 10 and 11
  • Volunteer work advice and linkages
  • Job skills training
  • Travel training
  • Referrals to jobs or training
  • Links to casual or part time work
  • Support to access School Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships (SBATs), or Traineeships or Apprenticeships

The Youth WAVE project team are now developing a handbook which provides information on planning your transition from school to work or further learning with topics such as:

  • What are the differences between SBAT’s, and other Traineeships and Apprenticeships?
  • How to prepare and gain great work experience
  • The value of volunteering
  • What are Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) and Group Training Organisations (GTOs)?
  • How the NDIS works

Deaf Children Australia is committed to providing deaf and hard of hearing jobseekers with options to secure a brighter future.  We will continue to advocate to shape the strategies which will underpin the policies needed to decrease barriers, and increase social and economic inclusion.

View ‘Every Opportunity – Victorian economic participation plan for people with disability 2018-2020’ on the State Disability Plan website.

Roz Keenan
Deaf Children Australia

By |February 14th, 2018|Media|Comments Off on DCA and Sign for Work Embrace New State Disability Plan ‘Every Opportunity’

Join Us At The DCA/Sign for Work NDIS Youth Workshop!

Deaf Children Australia (DCA) and Sign For Work (Disability Employment Services Provider) are pleased to announce an exciting opportunity to come along to a free workshop covering how you can access new opportunities through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

The NDIS Youth Workshop will include a presentation by Mija Gwyn from the Youth Disability Advocacy Service. Mija will give an overview of the NDIS and how you and your family can access NDIS supports. We will let you know about Deaf Children Australia and Sign For Work services that are available through the NDIS and  launch our exciting new program, Youth WAVE (Work and Vocational Experience). An NDIS Local Area Coordinator (LAC) will explain how you can connect to the services you want.

Join us for some fun activities and the information you need to know to get the most out of the NDIS!

When: Saturday 7 October 2017
Time: 10am – 4:30pm (Morning tea and pizza included)
Where: Deaf Children Australia, 597 St Kilda Rd Melbourne
Cost: Free
Bookings and Remote Access: SMS your name and best contact details to 0499 775 755 or email to let us know if you want a seat or would like to join in the event through live streaming.

Please note limited seats are available so bookings and remote access needs must be notified by Wednesday 4 October.

Captioning and interpreting will be provided. View the event flyer here and the Auslan video below.

By |September 13th, 2017|Media|Comments Off on Join Us At The DCA/Sign for Work NDIS Youth Workshop!

Deaf Chef Breaking ‘Sound Barrier’ – 7 News

As shown on 7 News, Apprentice Chef Lisa Parker is loving her job at at a terrific social enterprise café in Warrandyte, Now & Not Yet. Lisa, who is Deaf, is working there as a 1st Year Apprentice Chef, and DCA’s Employment Service, Sign For Work, has been assisting with her transition into the workplace. Laura Bell from Sign for Work joined Lisa and cafe founder Derek Bradshaw for the 7 News story about inclusion in the workplace and how the Now and Not Yet Cafe is working to break down the barriers and calling for more employers to consider how they recruit. View the video below and click on the CC icon for closed captions.

By |September 4th, 2017|Media|Comments Off on Deaf Chef Breaking ‘Sound Barrier’ – 7 News

25 Years And Going Strong

Lance began his career as a trainee with the Water Resources Commission in 1991.  Soon after was moved to the Department of Primary Industries (now the Department of Agriculture and Fishing, DAF) and has recently been presented with his “25 Years of Service” Certificate. Lance currently manages the DAF Tor Street Car Pool and is the “star” SAP Invoice data entry officer.

Lance jokes that, “I am the only male Admin Officer in a team of nine ladies at the Tor Street office, and being hearing impaired has probably helped me to stay sane in this great team!”

Lance is always the first to volunteer when an emergency response is required, and has participated in Equine Influenza, Red Witch Weed and Panama responses, using his data entry and purchasing skills. In addition to his regular duties, Lance completes field work during times of peak demand including a field trip to Mackay, during the Red Witch Weed Response, where he was the first officer that day to find one of the offending Weeds!

Sign For Work assists Lance in the workplace, providing Auslan interpreting for on-going training, as well as during for an intensive period of major systems change within the department. Sign For Work has also provided on-the-job support and advocacy throughout Lance’s time as a Sign For Work client.

Sign For Work offers Lance a big congratulations on achieving 25 years!

Lance photo

Lance receiving his ’25 Years of Service’ Certificate from John McDiarmid, General Manager – Customer & Business Services

By |July 29th, 2016|Media|Comments Off on 25 Years And Going Strong

Study to Success

Lisa registered with Sign For Work in November 2014 after she had been looking for work for over 2 years. In April 2015 Sign For Work were successful in finding Lisa an Administration/Cleaning position with the opportunity to do a traineeship in Certificate III in Business Administration, through Golden West Apprentice Centre in Toowoomba.

Lisa was given study books to take home and complete. If she had any questions or concerns regarding the learning materials she was able to contact her trainer by email or request assistance from Sign For Work staff.

Tanya, Lisa’s trainer from College Australia in Brisbane, would travel to Toowoomba once a month to provide one on one training sessions to Lisa at the Golden West Apprenticeship Centre office. Sign For Work provided interpreter services for these training sessions, along with interpreter services to facilitate workplace communication and on the job support.

Due to the assistance provided by all parties, as well as Lisa’s continued efforts in completing her work and study, Lisa was successful in gaining a Certificate III in Business Administration in March 2016. Sign For Work would like to congratulate Lisa on this achievement and are proud to have been a part of this notable success story.

Lisa with traineeship certificates

Lisa with her Certificate III in Business Administration Certificate of Completion.


By |April 12th, 2016|Media|Comments Off on Study to Success

Working together leads to success!

Jennifer is a skilled bookkeeper who had been looking for work for almost 2 years. Jennifer’s story shows how persistence, effort, and help from the right service has resulted in a great outcome. Jennifer transferred to Sign For Work from another Disability Employment Services provider in November of last year, and from the hard work from both herself and her case manager in applying for as many roles as possible and sending out expressions of interest, Jennifer was contacted to attend an interview for a bookkeeping role with a flooring company. In her own words, Jennifer tells her story of job search success below:

“I am Jennifer and I am a qualified bookkeeper using MYOB programme.

Many years ago I put myself through business college as I was dissatisfied with my, then current, job and thrived to do something different and better. After 3 months in business college I landed a job with a caravan manufacturer which lasted 11 years under that ownership. The business then changed hands and after 2 years of working for the new owners, the business closed its doors and we were all made redundant.  I was then offered a job with another caravan manufacturer which I took. Over the years that I worked with both of those business I was involved in a lot of on-site and off-site training with MYOB which increased my skills & experience.

In 2013 my husband & I moved to the Toowoomba region. I thought with my excellent qualification & experience I would find a job easily but that was not the case.  I registered with an employment agency for assistance and while they did help to a degree,  I also searched the internet for vacancies on my own and I have lost count of how many jobs I applied for and the number of interviews I have attended.

One thing from the job search experience stood out for me, which was the negative  attitude I felt displayed to me by the interview panel at many of the interviews I attended. The interviewers often questioned me about my deafness and asked things like “how can we communicate with you?”.  It really made me feel disillusioned and my self-esteem was taking a battering.

Toward the end of last year I switched over to Sign For Work, and I went in with high hopes of them helping me to find work.  I found the Sign For Work staff very positive and helpful each time I met up with them for job search appointments, then one day I got an SMS from them saying I got an interview. I thought “Oh yeah! But what if the employer ask the same old questions about my deafness?”.

On the day of the interview, a Sign For Work staff member attended to interpret for me. I wasn’t nervous or excited as I was mentally preparing myself for another rejection. But the interview went well and the employer asked me when I could start. I just could not believe I finally got a job! On the first day I started work, both my Case Manager and an Interpreter from Sign For Work were there to help us with, on the job training and, any questions I needed to ask about the work I needed to do.  I have been working for this small flooring business for over two months now, I enjoy the work and the staff are friendly and helpful.”


Jennifer in her new bookkeeping role at the flooring company

By |May 12th, 2015|Media|Comments Off on Working together leads to success!

Success for this ‘pack’

The Sign For Work team supported Jessica, who is deaf, in her search for employment.  Jessica is now very happy in her new role at Urban Paws Doggy Daycare & Pet Services and shared her experiences:

“I love animals and dogs are my favourite. My first job was working with animals but I was being bullied in the workplace. I had to move on and I was then out of work for around seven months. A friend told me Sign For Work was the best place to go. They helped me when I was looking for work, got me into a Certificate 1 course in Grooming and helped set everything up with Urban Paws. I knew one of the business owners, Roger, from my old job and that helped. I started last October and since then, the Sign For Work team have visited and supported me with interpreting and helped other staff with deafness awareness training. I had nothing like that in my old job. At Urban Paws, I am a dog handler and grooming assistant. I am learning how to do different hairstyles. I want to say thank you to Roger and Melinda. I love working at Urban Paws with them. It’s great!”

Urban Paws business owner Roger De Payva says, “I used to be Jessica’s manager in another business six years ago so I knew what she could bring to Urban Paws.  Jessica may have lost one of her senses but I think it has made her stronger in her communication with dogs. She has this energy around them and they love her. The communication is all about body language. You don’t need to talk. It is a natural thing I see in Jessica – that quietness and calmness. Some other people may not have given her a chance but it was meant to be that Jessica would work here. We all fit together so well. We have no problems passing on messages to her and all the team are comfortable working with Jess. Now she is part of our pack. We hope Jessica will stay at Urban Paws and be with us for the long term.”

Roger’s partner Melinda De Payva added, “Sign for Work has been very helpful in assisting our company with staff. The onsite support and follow up has been very helpful to our team and we would have no hesitation in recommending Sign for Work to any other organisation which is looking for staff.”

Jessica with some of the dogs she loves working with. Thanks to Urban Paws for this photograph.

Jessica with some of the dogs she loves working with.
Photograph credit to Urban Paws.

By |April 29th, 2015|Media|Comments Off on Success for this ‘pack’