Training

Key Word Sign training is currently offered throughout Australia by qualified professionals. All KWS presenters offering Key Word Sign Australia training have completed Presenter Training and are committed to ongoing professional education and development in the areas of key word sign and communication.

Key Word Sign Australia, and the large network of presenters across Australia, offer key word sign training workshops to suit participants of all levels and abilities. In addition to our high popular Key Word Sign Basic Workshop and Presenter Training, we are excited to be expanding our range of courses to include Intermediate and Advanced qualifications for those who wish to continue formal training in key word sign.

Our training

Read more about our training offerings to choose the one that’s right for you.

Basic Qualification

In this introductory key word sign course, you will learn about the principles of key word sign and gesture, who it can be used with and how it can be used alongside other ways of communicating. You will understand how key word sign is different to Auslan, the language of the Deaf Community in Australia.

In the practical component of the course you will learn up to 80 new signs along with common natural gestures. You will have the opportunity to practice using speech and signs together in interactive activities, building your skills in a safe and fun group environment. You will leave the workshop with a detailed plan of the next steps in your key word sign journey, as well as a host of helpful resources to support your learning.

Who is it for?

This workshop is suitable for any one who wants to learn about key word sign. It is our introductory qualification and is the pre-requisite for all other courses in our range. You do not need any experience of skills with key word sign to benefit from this course.

Where is it offered?

This workshop is available all across Australia. You can complete the learning in a few different ways, depending on your needs and preferences. All courses are equivalent in time, resources, quality, learning and fun!

  • Option 1: Full day face to face workshop (6.5 hrs total).
    – You can do this in person with a trainer and a group of participants in the same room, OR
    – You can to do this virtually online, where you, your trainer and the other participants will join from their computers.
  • Option 2: Blended workshop (6.5 hrs total).
    – You will complete the theory component of your training as a self-paced elearning module. You can learn flexibly in your own time and complete your training around other commitments. The eLearning will take you between 1 – 2 hrs.
    – You will complete the practical component of your training face to face. This can be in person with a trainer, or virtually online.
Are there any pre-requisites?

There are no pre-requisites to complete this introductory course. It is for anyone.

Getting Started with Key Word Sign is itself a pre-requisite for all of our other training courses. So, everyone starts their key word sign training with this course.

What training can I do next?

After you have completed the Getting Started with Key Word Sign course, you have several training options available.

  1. Complete the full ‘Using Key Word Sign in Daily Life’ training. This is an intermediate qualification and is currently offered only as a blended workshop.
  2. Complete just the theory component of ‘Using Key Word Sign in Daily Life’ training. This is offered as a 1.5 hr self-paced eLearning module. On completion you will be eligible for a Statement of Attainment.
  3. Complete just the practical component of ‘Using Key Word Sign in Daily Life’ training. This is offered as a 5 hr face to face workshop either in person or virtually online. On completion you will be eligible for a Statement of Attainment.

Intermediate Qualification

In this intermediate key word sign course, you will build your knowledge of key word sign and gesture including how to select and individualise signs for familiar, everyday activities, routines, games and songs. You will learn about how to create a sign environment including use of strategies and resources to encourage and support the use of sign. You will have the opportunity to tailor and apply the information to your own personal circumstances and settings.

In the practical component of the course you will revise the signs of the Interactive Vocabulary learned in ‘Getting Started with Key Word Sign’. You will then learn between 60 – 80 news signs aligned with topics such as: Food, Colours, Animals, People, Places, Action and Numbers. You will also learn the 2-handed fingerspelling alphabet. The focus of this course is building your skills in signing accuracy and fluency through individual, small group and whole group activities. ‘Scripting’ will be introduced as a technique to help identify and embed signs into daily communication activities.

Who is it for?

This course is for anyone who has a basic level of key word sign knowledge and can recognise and accurately produce about 50 signs. You feel comfortable with the need to speak and sign at the same time and have some experience using key word sign within your everyday communication activities. This course is for you if you want to expand your sign vocabulary and learn more about creating a signing environment.

Where is it offered?

This workshop is available to anyone in Australia. In 2022 and 2023 it will be offered ONLY in a blended learning mode.

  • Blended workshop (6.5 hrs total).
    – You will complete the theory component of your training as a self-paced elearning module. You can learn flexibly in your own time and complete your training around other commitments. The eLearning will take you between 1 – 2 hrs.
    – You will complete the practical component of your training face to face. This can be in person with a trainer, or virtually online.

We look forward to offering ‘Using Key Word Sign in Daily Life’ as a full day face to face workshop in 2024 and beyond!

Are there any pre-requisites?

The basic qualification ‘Getting Started with Key Word Sign’ is a pre-requisite for this course, including the theory-only and practical-only pathways.

What training can I do next?

After you have completed the ‘Using Key Word Sign in Daily Life’ course, you have several training options available.

  1. Complete the full ‘Teaching Others to Use Key Word Sign’ training. This is an advanced qualification and is currently offered only as a blended workshop.
  2. Complete just the theory component of ‘Teaching Others to Use Key Word Sign’ training. This is offered as a 1.5 hr self-paced eLearning module. On completion you will be eligible for a Statement of Attainment.
  3. Complete just the practical component of ‘Teaching Others to Use Key Word Sign’ training. This is offered as a 5 hr face to face workshop either in person or virtually online. On completion you will be eligible for a Statement of Attainment.

Advanced Qualification

In this advanced key word sign course, you will further develop your knowledge of key word sign and gesture by exploring instructional techniques such as modelling, incidental teaching and explicit teaching to support learning and use of key word sign. You will also learn strategies for teaching sign to the communication partners around an individual, including use of coaching, mentoring, and development of individualised sign support resources. You will use a goal setting and evaluation framework that will assist you to monitor key word sign and communication progress. The course will also explore how to advocate for key word sign services within current disability funding structures.

In the practical component of the course you will revise selected vocabulary items from ‘Using Key Word Sign in Daily Life’ and will learn 80-100 new signs from within topics such as: Home, School, Work, Health and Medical, Clothing, Body Parts, Recreation and Leisure, and Parts of Speech. You will continue to develop skills in sign accuracy and fluency through a range of functional activities. You will also explore use of key word sign alongside other methods of augmentative and alternative communication using an individualised and goal-directed approach.

Who is it for?

This course is for anyone who has an intermediate level of key word sign knowledge and can recognise and accurately produce about 100 signs. You feel comfortable speaking and signing at the same time and can incorporate signs for 2-3 key words within a single sentence. You will benefit from this course if you have some experience using key word sign professionally or personally, and you teach and encourage others to use sign in their daily lives.

Where is it offered?

This workshop is available to anyone in Australia. In 2022 and 2023 it will be offered ONLY in a blended learning mode.

  • Blended workshop (6.5 hrs total).
    – You will complete the theory component of your training as a self-paced elearning module. You can learn flexibly in your own time and complete your training around other commitments. The eLearning will take you between 1 – 2 hrs.
    – You will complete the practical component of your training face to face. This can be in person with a trainer, or virtually online.

We look forward to offering ‘Teaching Key Word Sign to Others’ as a full day, face to face workshop in 2024 and beyond!

Are there any pre-requisites?

The intermediate qualification ‘Using Key Word Sign in Daily Life’ is a pre-requisite for this course. If you are working through a theory-only pathway, then just the theory component of Using Key Word Sign in Daily Life is the pre-requisite. If you are working through a practical-only pathway, then just the practical component of Using Key Word Sign in Daily Life is the pre-requisite.

What training can I do next?

After you have completed the ‘Teaching Key Word Sign to Others’ course, you have additional training options available.

  1. Apply for Key Word Sign Australia Presenter Training. This is a 2-day train the trainer course in which you will become accredited to deliver the Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced Key Word Sign workshops in Australia.

Training in Key Word Sign is currently being offered by Key Word Sign Australia, individual Key Word Sign Presenters, organisations, and some state committees. Please go to the training page for your state to see what is available. You will also be able to look for a KWS Presenter near you and contact them directly if you wish.

If you cannot find a workshop that suits you, please email keywordsignaustralia@scopeaust.org.au and we’ll do our best to help!

Find a Presenter
near you

Key Word Sign presenters have completed an intensive program providing them with the skills and knowledge to deliver training in Key Word Sign (KWS). Professional members are KWS presenters who are accredited by KWSA and licensed to deliver KWS training packages.

KWS professional members can provide KWS training, advice on using KWS, and those presenters who are also speech pathologists may be available for individualised intervention using KWS.

State committees and representatives provide support to KWS presenters in their state and help to coordinate the provision of KWS training.

Click on your state to find out about upcoming KWS workshops, request a workshop for your organisation or family, or to contact your state committee/representative.

Upcoming Events

Tue 31 Jan, 2023

Tues 31 Jan 2023 – Basic Training – Blended

Tue 31 Jan, 2023

Tues 31 Jan 2023 – Basic Training – Full Day Workshop

Wed 15 Feb, 2023

Wed 15 Feb 2023 – Basic Training – Full Day Workshop

Tue 21 Mar, 2023

Tue 21 March 2023 – Basic Training – Full Day Workshop

Thu 30 Mar, 2023

Thur 30 March 2023 – Intermediate Training – Blended

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