UX and Web Design

Sarah Smid

Diploma of UX and Web Design

Click for confetti 👏

When a flower doesn't bloom, you don't blame the flower, you blame it's environment. I'm a learning designer with a passion for educational gardening.

Little Auslan Academy

Have you ever tried learning a new language? Now imagine doing this while raising a newborn baby with a disability. This is the task faced by parents of deaf children. Little Auslan Academy is a brand-new early learning group for new parents navigating the world of raising their deaf child.

This is my baby and my passion come to life! I was the project leader and learning designer for this program. Drawing on all of my knowledge in education and design, I created many of the resources for this project, including the curriculum, lesson plans, information booklet and video teaser (which I created for one of my assessments during my studies at Billy Blue).

Our team won an Australian Good Design of the Year Award at this years awards ceremony in September. It was fantastic to be recognised for this achievement.

Design challenge:
There is a dearth of parent support and Auslan learning opportunities available to parents of young children with hearing loss.
Programs that do exist are often:
-ineffective (poor quality, not evidence-based, poor learning design, delivered by unqualified instructors)
-insufficient (only focus on one aspect such as hearing aids)
-unsuitable (unrelated to deafness and focus on all disabilities)
-inappropriate (focussed on adult learners so parents cannot learn alongside their children)
As a result, parents lack the knowledge, skills and resources they need to support their deaf child, contributing to poor educational, social and economic outcomes for deaf children.

Design solution:
Little Auslan Academy gives parents the knowledge, skills and resources they need to support their deaf child to not just grow but thrive. We understand that raising a deaf child is about so much more than just attending a couple of sign language classes. That’s why we’ve created a holistic program that gives parents what they need to succeed: A connection to Deaf role models, evidence-based instruction taught with good learning design principles, helpful learning resources, regular practice opportunities and a supportive learning community.

Design impact:
Little Auslan Academy gives parents the knowledge, skills and resources they need to confidently raise their Deaf child. As a result, Deaf children grow up with better language and communications skills, strong connected relationships with their families, better mental health and improved outcomes in education and employment. When a flower isn’t growing, we don’t blame the flower, we blame its
environment. Little Auslan Academy doesn’t just whack some hearing aids on the child and send them to speech pathology hoping they will learn to talk and assimilate into society… We water their whole environment, starting with their family.

Project/Client Website