Students from Kindergarten to Year 10 across NSW will be able to learn Auslan (Australian Sign Language) as an elective from 2026.
On Tuesday, the NSW Education and Early Learning Minister Prue Car launched the syllabus, which has been developed in consultation with the Deaf community.
Teachers will now be able to familiarise themselves with the course before the subject is taught in classrooms.
While schools will choose whether the subject will be offered to students, Ms Car said the government will work with schools on an individual basis to ensure they can teach the subject.
Where possible, they will find teachers who are already trained in Auslan to administer the subject.
“There might be a school that has wanted to do this for some time. Now they have the opportunity to do it now that it will be an elective part of the syllabus,” she said.
Ms Car also hoped allowing children to learn Auslan would help alleviate the shortage of Auslan interpreters.
According to Deaf Australia, while there are more than 16,000 Deaf people across the country, there are only 300 qualified and accredited Auslan interpreters.
“Part of the reason why we’re rolling out this syllabus is so we can make sure we train more kids in Auslan, so we can actually break the back of some of the shortages of Auslan interpreters out there in society,” she said.
NSW Disability Inclusion Minister Kate Washington said introducing Auslan into the school curriculum was a win for inclusivity.
“There is a rich and deep culture in and among the deaf community and Auslan plays a really important role in that and has done so for many years,” she said.
“Auslan is an Australian language and we should be proud to be teaching it in our schools.”