There’s a new online platform that lets hearing Aussies learn Auslan, or Australian Sign Language, from Deaf people around the country.

Auslan Anywhere is set up kind of like a social network (Twitter users will experience a bit of déjà vu) that connects those who don’t yet sign with those those who do.

For those of us who don’t yet know Auslan, the platform lets you browse categories, each featuring short instructional videos (think of them as Vines for Auslan) which explain how to sign a specific phrase.

Users are divided into Learners, which is pretty self-explanatory, and Creators, who are registered members of the Deaf community in Australia.

If there’s a word or phrase you want to learn that’s not already on there, a Learner user can even request it and a Creator user will upload a video explaining it.

There’s also a surprisingly fun homepage if you’re just keen to scroll through the latest Auslan phrases that’ve been uploaded so far.

It’s hoped that this platform will help bridge the communication gap between Deaf and non-Deaf Aussies, including children in particular. Considering that 90% of Deaf Aussies are born into non-Deaf families, this kind of understanding is super important.

Auslan Anywhere was developed from a 3 year collaboration between Expression Australia (also known as the Victorian Deaf Society) and the Telstra Foundation.

It’s educational. It’s wholesome. It’s fun. And it’s the next best thing to being face-to-face with a room full of Auslan signers willing to teach you.

You can browse the platform here.

Image: Auslan Anywhere