SRF Program

  • Key Word Sign

    VEYLDF Alignment

    Item uses these practice principles: Reflective practice, Partnerships with families, High expectations for every child, Respectful relationships and responsive engagement, Equity and diversity, Assessment for learning and development, Integrated teaching and learning approaches, Partnerships with professionals.

    Item responds to these sub-outcomes: Children begin to understand how symbols and pattern systems work, Children interact verbally and non-verbally with others for a range of purposes.

    Description

    Key Word Sign is a language program that aims to help people communicate using signs and symbols, ultimately supporting spoken language. Key Word Sign allows children and adults to communicate using signs and symbols in spoken word order, then 'drop' the signs and symbols at their own pace as they develop speech. The program is especially useful for people with no speech, limited speech or unclear speech.

    The workshop is delivered in an interactive teaching environment and covers the following:

    • learning a basic vocabulary of signs to use in everyday settings
    • how to choose which signs to teach
    • principles of Key Word Sign and Gesture
    • how sign helps communication development

    The workshop can be accessed in two ways:

    1. Central workshop
    A one-day basic Key Word Sign workshop, including a free copy of the guide book Getting Started with Key Word Sign for each participant. (Workshops are scheduled throughout the year: visit provider website for details.)

    2. Private workshop
    Services can engage an accredited presenter to run a one-day basic Key Word Sign workshop at their service or other location of choice. The workshop requires a minimum of 15 participants and can be run over one day or across two half-days. This option also includes a free copy of the guide book for each participant.

    Detailed Costs

    Central workshop: $180/person

    Private workshop:

    • up to 15 participants - one-day $1615; two half-days $1815
    • 15 to 30 participants - one-day $2775; two half-days $3075

     

    Implementation Considerations

    Target population: people of all ages with learning or communication difficulties and/or with an interest in developing their language and literacy skills. Can be used by parents and professionals. A particular version of Key Word Sign has been developed for babies and young children.

    Program/practice descriptions and details: Key Word Sign Victoria regularly runs training workshops. Resources include Getting Started with Key Word Sign (AUSLAN Edition), Key Signs CD-ROM, Key Word Sign Footy Book, Sign With Me: Learning Strategies for Key Word Sign (DVD), and Key Word Sign Posters.

    Program adaptability: Key Word Sign is flexible and can be adapted to suit the needs of individuals. Once an individual has learned the program's signs and symbols, they can adapt them to use in daily life. If unable to attend training for Key Word Sign, individuals can learn the signs and symbols from the Key Word Sign Australia app (designed to be used on an iPad only).

    Training requirements: no prerequisites. When the program is delivered to an entire service, all staff, regardless of their qualifications, are encouraged to participate in training. Training to become a presenter, as well as 'refresher' training, is also available. (Visit provider website for details.)

    Factors to consider: note that the most effective way to implement Key Word Sign across a service is for all staff to receive training.

    Staffing: services should consider the cost of backfill when determining the cost of accessing this resource.

    Australian experience: the program was developed in the UK and has been adapted to an Australian audience, using Australian Sign Language.

    Priority Area

    Communication

    Strength of Evidence

    Level 5 - Foundational research evidence