About Us

Who are we?

One of Australia’s leading providers of specialist services for deaf, deafblind and hard of hearing people and their families. Our focus is ensuring that you have access to all areas of life on an equal basis with others. We want you to thrive!

What do we do?

We support you to make choices and take actions to change your life. Whether you want to improve relations with your family, find a job you enjoy, learn new skills like cooking, move out of home, develop your English or Auslan skills or any combination of the above – we’re here to support you to thrive.

Here are some of the services we provide;

Contact us today

Our Vision

Equity for deaf people.

Our Mission

To support deaf people to have a better life. We work with deaf people and others to overcome systemic disadvantage and language/cultural barriers by:

  • Modelling accessibility in all we do                                         
  • Providing Auslan interpreting services
  • Creative problem solving                                                         
  • Delivering education programs
  • Contributing to the Deaf Community                                      
  • Providing individual and group supports

Our Patron

The Deaf Society has been granted Vice Regal Patronage by the Governor of NSW, Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AO QC

Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AO QC is the 39th Governor of New South Wales, commencing her five year tenure on 2 May 2019.

Prior to her appointment as Governor, Her Excellency enjoyed a long and distinguished law career spanning 43 years, during which time she served as a role model for women in law at both the State and national level.

Appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1989, in 1993 she was made a judge of the Federal Court of Australia, the first woman to sit exclusively in that Court. In 1996, she achieved the distinction of being the first woman appointed to the New South Wales Court of Appeal and, subsequently, as the first woman to be appointed as its President. She served, on a number of occasions, as Administrator of the Government of the State of New South Wales.

She was made an Officer in the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List on 12 June 2006 for service to the judiciary and the law.

Her Excellency has three children - Erin, Lauren and Anthony Sullivan - and is married to Mr. Dennis Wilson, a barrister, mediator, accredited international arbitrator and Adjunct Professor of Law, at Notre Dame University, Sydney.

Her Excellency brings her deep commitment to education, youth leadership, human rights and social justice to the role in service of the people of New South Wales.  

It is an honour for the Deaf Society to be granted Vice-Regal Patronage by the Governor.

Our Vice Patron

In December 2018, the Deaf Society held its 105th Annual General Meeting which included the appointment of Dr Breda Carty as the Vice Patron of The Deaf Society.

Dr Carty is a well-regarded deaf person who has campaigned for many changes that transformed the lives of deaf people - including the National Relay Service and the establishment of Deaf Australia (a peak advocacy body for deaf people who use Auslan).
Dr Carty has held many leadership roles - including recently the Chair of the Deaf History International Conference which was held in Sydney in July last year, the first time in the southern hemisphere. Her research and presentations as a deaf historian are nationally and internationally recognised.

The Board and the staff at The Deaf Society are delighted that Breda has accepted this important role as Vice-Patron and will continue the legacy of our former, beloved Vice-Patron, Nola Colefax.



Our Constitution

The Deaf Society is not-for-profit public company limited by guarantee and is a charity.  For more information about our governance, please read our constitution.


Student Handbook

The Student Handbook contains information about ATE’s obligations towards our students, information about students' rights and obligations towards ATE, as well as links to the relevant policies.

Students should read the Student Handbook prior to enrolling into a qualification. You can access the Student Handbook here.

Recognition Processes

Students who have completed some formal/informal training and/or have prior experience in Auslan may be eligible for Credit Transfer or Recognition of Prior Learning.

If you wish to apply for Recognition of Prior Learning or Credit Transfer, download this Credit Transfer and Recognition of Prior Learning Application Form, complete it and return it to enrolments@accesstraining.edu.au.
You can access the Credit Transfer and Recognition of Prior Learning Policy here or in the Student Handbook.

Complaints and Appeals

ATE takes complaints and appeals very seriously and applies the principles of fairness and justice to all complaints and appeals lodged by students.
You can access the Feedback and Complaints Management Procedure here or in the Student Handbook.

You can access the Appeals Policy in the Student Handbook.

If you are a NSW student and you have a complaint you want to take further please contact Smart and Skilled
1 300 772 104