Tuesday, December 6, 2016

The Wiggles embrace sign language to create better accessibility

The Wiggles have been entertaining children for over 25 years. Their fans are diverse, loved by children in many countries, languages and, of differing needs.

They have recently embarked on their Dance, Dance the Wiggles Big Show, bringing entertainment to thousands of children across Australia. One defining feature about The Wiggles (and in large part to their success) is their ability to communicate with children. One of the main features (in addition to the music naturally) of this show is the inclusion of two large screens on stage featuring children signing, or Auslan, to all of The Wiggles’ songs.

Emma, more commonly known as “The Yellow Wiggle”, also ‘signs’ during the concert. Emma is passionate about making The Wiggles’ music accessible for everyone. Emma speaks about her passion for inclusiveness in this recent interview on Sunrise: https://youtu.be/AeGtTLPj80g. She has also recently embarked on a video combining Auslan and dance to a Justin Timberlake song: https://youtu.be/0IuOzO5YCAA.

Is this merely a momentary trend that will pass, or does it finally mean that children with disability are fully part of mainstream community?

Admittedly, there are definitely more occasions where children from all walks of life are appearing in mainstream advertising. Kmart recently featured an advert where one of the stars was a little girl who had Down Syndrome: https://youtu.be/eS3XwyNUsAE.

Whilst these are fantastic examples of companies and brands supporting inclusiveness through greater access to their music, products and services, here’s hoping that this is not a passing trend and is an opportunity for people with disability to live just like everyone else.

For more information on anything related to Auslan, why not contact the team at IDEAS on 1800 029 904 or visit www.ideas.org.au

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