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Ray White uses sign language to make auctions accessible

Ray White Noble Park has catered to the hearing-impaired by providing an Auslan interpreter to sign the auction call of a live auction.

The initiative, called by Ray White Victoria’s Chief Auctioneer Jeremy Tyrell and Alex from Expressions Australia, aimed to make the auction process more accessible to people with hearing difficulties.

The pair auctioned four auctions for the south-east Melbourne business selling two of them.

Ray White Noble Park Principal Allison Grant said the three bedroom brick home at 28 Jacana St, Noble Park sold for $810,000, $80,000 over reserve with active bidding from five parties.

“Our vendor, the owner of the home, recently went into aged care,” Ms Grant said.

“He was deaf. 

“His only daughter is also deaf and they have many family and friends that are deaf.”

Ms Grant said she had met with the seller’s sister and brother-in-law, who both have hearing issues, and they were happy to have the option of an Auslan interpreter present on auction day.

“Both are hearing and born into deaf families and very active in helping people with accessibility,” she said.

“When I was engaged to sell the property by online auction, I suggested we could have an Auslan interpreter attend the auction to assist our seller and his daughter during the auction.”

She said they started doing online auctions through Covid and they were successful, so they have continued them. 

“Because of the nature of being online, the auctions are accessible to buyers and potential sellers to gauge the market; not just locally but interstate and overseas,” she said.

“What we hadn’t considered, until meeting Peter and Judi, was the lack of accessibility for deaf people navigating the real estate landscape.”

Ms Grant said her seller had become unwell in aged care and unfortunately passed away recently.

“This has given me a whole new perspective about creating accessibility for everyone,” she said.

“This includes exploring additional ways to ensure our services are inclusive for everyone.”

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Rowan Crosby

Rowan Crosby is a senior journalist at Elite Agent specialising in finance and real estate.