Australia’s first TV show for kids with hearing loss
In an Australian first, ABC2 is now airing a children’s show specially designed for kids with hearing loss and who use Australian Sign Language (Auslan) as their first language.
Sally and Possum is commissioned by the Queensland Government’s Department of Education, is designed to help kids (aged 4-8 years old) with a Deafness or hearing loss develop early literacy, numeracy and communication skills.
The program is set to broadcast on ABC2 for the next 3 years.
Education Minister Kate Jones said that Deaf and hard of hearing children face major communication obstacles, and the television series was designed to support inclusive education.
Sally and Possum allows young children to process multiple elements such as signing, speaking, and written or other visual elements, all while having a good time.
The program is offered in Auslan an Australian English voiceover to enable siblings, carers and friends to enjoy the program together.
Minister Jones said Sally and Possum uses play-based learning techniques to boost early literacy and numeracy development.
But its not only about education – the series features fun characters, bright colours, animation, in studio make believe, and features special guests such as Kindy ambassador, Jay Laga‟aia.
The was series produced in Queensland in collaboration with early childhood teachers who work with kids who have hearing loss or Deafness, experts in early childhood language and literacy and members of Queensland’s deaf and signing community.
A Sally and Possum website has been developed to compliment the series and will soon include two integrated and mobile Apps to help children build on the concepts featured in the show, and extend its education value.
The Sally and Possum television series can be watched on ABC KIDS, streamed from ABC iview or via the the Sally and Possum website.