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Kyle Miers is a Chief Executive of Deaf Australia, the national peak representative organisation for deaf and hard of hearing people in Australia that uses Auslan (Australian Sign Language). He will be the first ever speaker at the National Press Club that exclusively uses Auslan for his address including questions & answers. The ABC and National Press Club are rising to the “behind the scenes” production challenge to make this live broadcast a reality.
The significant work of Deaf Australia evolves around de-stigmatising the perspectives and attitudes while promoting inclusion and equality.
In his address, Kyle will highlight that people who are deaf or hard of hearing often struggle to participate meaningfully in society as deafness is one of the hidden disabilities and also the most marginalised disability groups. In the world of sounds, there are significant expectations for the deaf people to ‘speak and listen’ as the primary focus, but to what end?
Over 90% of deaf children are born to family who have little or no knowledge about deafness and how current structure is disruptive and un-conductive to child’s development need which often resulted with them being behind their peers both academically and emotionally. Having a language is one of the most fundamental human rights for every citizen in Australia (and internationally), we must explore for better ways for deaf children to acquire the language naturally so they can lead a productive and meaningful lives.
Kyle Miers has been involved in the deaf sector since 1987, in various capacity, both voluntary and paid positions and served as president/ board member of several organisations including Deaf Australia (formerly known as Australian Association of the Deaf), Pacific Disability Forum (Fiji) and currently as General Secretariat of World Federation of the Deaf – Oceania.
Prior to Deaf Australia, he was Senior Manager of Community Engagement and Policy Officer for Deaf Children Australia, Executive Manager at Victorian Council of Deaf People and ACT Deafness Resource Centre (ACT).
Kyle is a founding member of Australian Communications Consumers Action Network and Australian Federation of Disability Organisations.
Kyle was born deaf and to a deaf family (several generations) holds a Bachelor of Science in Leadership and Programming from Gallaudet University (Washington D.C.), the world only liberal University for deaf people and knows three languages, Auslan (Australian Sign Language, American Sign Language (ASL) and English.
Kyle received Honorary Life Membership (Deaf Australia) and Hall of Fame (Nebraska Alumni Association of the Deaf) for contribution to the deaf community both Nationally and Internationally.