What is Auslan Signbank?

Auslan Signbank is an online language resource for Auslan – the language of the Australian Deaf community. Auslan Signbank was developed by Professor Trevor Johnston and consists of an online dictionary of Auslan as well as a growing range of other language resources.

Signbank: Interview with Prof. Trevor Johnston from Auslan Consultancy on Vimeo.

To go to Auslan Sigbank click on the following link:  www.auslan.org.au

How to use Signbank

What is Educational Sigbank?

Auslan Signbank already includes signs that are education related. To search for these signs, go to: http://www.auslan.org.au/dictionary/ and select the relevant letter of the alphabet and in the column on the left, selection the category ‘Education’ from the drop menu. This list is limited and hence deafConnectEd approached Professor Johnston about expanding the resources available to students and interpreters working in educational settings.

Educational Signbank provides students and Auslan interpreters with:

  1. a definition of educational terms in plain English and in Auslan
  2. a suggested way of expressing this concept in Auslan. Often this is not an Auslan sign but a depicting sign, which represents some feature of the concept. In some cases there may be a number of suggested depicting signs to choose from.

In partnership with the Victorian College for the Deaf, deafConnectEd started Educational Signbank with signs relating to the automotive industry. These can be found below.

Expanding Educational Signbank

In 2017, the Department of Education and Training provided deafConnectEd with a grant to expand content in Educational Signbank, focusing on VET-related subject areas. This included hospitality, language, literacy and study, as well as workplace health and safety.

The following video has information about how new content was developed including the use of communities of practice:

How to use Educational Signbank

Click on a link below and this will open the relevant Signbank entry. You can also type the keyword directly into Signbank.


  • there may be two (or more) entries for each keyword – a definition and one or more suggested ways of expressing the keyword in Auslan.
  • you can now also watch videos in half speed or even slower. Click on the ‘1’ at the bottom of the video to change the rate.
Community Services
National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)
Workplace Health & Safety
General educational signs
Language, literacy and study terms


English terms with a definition in Auslan.
Abbreviation Adjective Arbitrary
Acronym Adverb Analyse
Background Compare Argue
Based on Conjunction Aspect
Buoy Connective Connotation
Cohesion Define Contrast
Discuss Describe Criticise
Feature Explain Denotation
Idiom Identify Evaluate
Illustrate Incorporate Examine
Inflection Metalanguage Justify
Interpret Metaphor Morpheme
Lexicon Portfolio Noun
Objective Preposition Outline
Phoneme Pronoun Plagiarism
Pragmatics Review Reduplication
Register Sentence
Semantics State Referent
Summarise Survey Tense
Verb Syntax Topicalisation
Car signs

Automotive keyword definitions and depicting signs. These Signbank entries were created in partnership with with the Victorian College for the Deaf.

Air filter - definition Hand brake - definition
Air filter - depicting sign 1 Hand brake - depicting sign
Air filter - depicting sign 2 Hose - definition
Ball joint - definition Hose - depicting sign
Ball joint - depicting sign Number plate - definition
Brake hose - definition Number plate - depicting sign
Brake hose - depicting sign Oil filter - definition
Brake pedal - definition Oil filter - depicting sign 1
Brake pedal - depicting sign Oil filter - depicting sign 2
Car battery - definition Oil leak - definition
Car battery - depicting sign Oil leak - depicting sign
Dash lights - definition Power steering hose - definition
Dash lights - depicting sign Power steering hose - depicting sign
Demister - definition Rear-view mirror - definition
Demister - depicting sign Rear-view mirror - depicting sign
Differential - definition Seat belt anchor - definition
Differential - depicting sign Seat belt anchor - depicting sign
Door lock - definition Shock absorber - definition
Door lock - depicting sign 1 Shock absorber - depicting sign
Door lock - depicting sign 2 Stabiliser bar - definition
Drive belt - definition Stabiliser bar - depicting sign
Drive belt - depicting sign Stop lights - definition
Electrical wire - definition Stop lights - depicting sign
Electrical wire - depicting sign Suspension - definition
Electrical wiring - definition Suspension - depicting sign
Electrical wiring - depicting sign Transmission fluid - definition
Engine mounting - definition Transmission fluid - depicting sign
Engine mounting - depicting sign Tread pattern - definition
Exhaust clearance - definition Tread pattern - depicting sign
Exhaust clearance - depicting sign Tyre placard - definition
Exhaust leakage - definition Tyre placard - depicting sign
Exhaust leakage - depicting sign Tyre profile - definition
Petrol filter - definition Tyre profile - depicting sign
Petrol filter - depicting sign Tyre - definition
Fuel line - definition Tyre - depicting sign
Fuel line - depicting sign Water pump - definition
Fuel pump - definition Water pump - depicting sign
Fuel pump - depicting sign Weather strip - definition
Fuel tank - definition Weather strip - depicting sign
Fuel tank - depicting sign 1
Fuel tank - depicting sign 2