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Here, a moral case is presented as to why sign languages such as Auslan should be made compulsory in general school curricula. Firstly, there are significant benefits that accrue to individuals from learning sign language. Secondly, sign language education is a matter of justice; the normalisation of sign language education and use would particularly benefit marginalised groups, such as those living with a communication disability. Finally, the integration of sign languages into the curricula would enable the flourishing of Deaf culture and go some way to resolving the tensions that have arisen from the promotion of oralist education facilitated by technologies such as cochlear implants. There are important reasons to further pursue policy proposals regarding the prioritisation of sign language in school curricula.

Original publication




Journal article


Monash Bioeth Rev

Publication Date





94 - 110


Auslan, BSL, Deaf culture, Education, Language education, Sign language, Communication, Curriculum, Humans, Persons With Hearing Impairments, Policy Making, Schools, Sign Language, Social Justice