• “Learn the sign language of the Australian Deaf community – Auslan.”

    Welcome to our OpenAccess Face to Face app for learning Auslan and finding simple ways to converse between Auslan and English which has never been easier. Face to Face focuses on also being a free education resource for deaf children to assist their language and literacy skills.

Discover how OpenAccess Face to Face increases learning and literacy outcomes at primary school (Auslan with captioned audio)

Learning and conversing between Auslan and English has never been easier

  • A comprehensive and still growing list of words in several themes including ‘Everyday Words’, ‘Food’, ‘Family’, ‘Sport’, ‘Animals’, ‘Workplace’, ‘Services’, ‘Countries’, ‘Technology’, etc.
  • Everyday Words’ categories include ‘Greetings’, ‘emotions’, common words’, ‘colours’, phrases and ‘idioms’, etc.
  • Instant access to Auslan signs in your pocket.
  • Great for young deaf children and their families to learn.
  • A unique learning app as it includes the English word or phrase, the Auslan sign, handshape option and an image of the word.
  • Hearing people keen to learn Auslan, can watch short Auslan videos and practice anywhere and anytime.

OpenAccess Face to Face benefits

1.1 million


who are hard of hearing



who are Deaf and use Auslan


Australian children and adults

who want to learn Australian Sign Language (Auslan)

About OpenAccess Face to Face

The ability to communicate is our most human characteristic. It’s essential to everyday contact with people and helps us learning, participate in education and work and importantly, social interaction.

However, for the one in six Australians affected by hearing loss, a real issue — one that is overlooked and even ignored — is the impact this has on their educational and communication experiences and opportunities.

One of the major barriers for people who are Deaf and hearing is the need to communicate with teachers, family and friends; the flexibility to have quick conversation between Auslan and English.

Conexu appreciates support from our community partners including Deaf Sport Australia, Furlong Park School for Deaf Children, Expression Australia, Aurora School who have contributed Auslan videos to add to our library and our many wonderful Auslan translators for making this happen.

Introducing OpenAccess Face to Face. A free iPad and iPhone app supporting Auslan learning and communication between deaf and hearing people.

With more than 2000 words and phrases, downloaded over 5,000 times (June 2018), the app is one of Australia’s biggest databases of Auslan and a popular standalone tool for learning Australian Sign Language.

Communication barriers are broken down as Deaf and hearing people are able to communicate across languages with instant English to Auslan interactions, increasing learning and literacy opportunities.

Who we are

Conexu believes communication barriers should never stop people from reaching their potential.

We are a national non-profit organisation, and experts in both technology and communication access. It’s our whole focus.

Our purpose is to use technology to bridge the communication divide between hard of hearing, Deaf or speech impaired Australians and the broader community.

Since 2011, our award winning team has been developing accessible apps with our communities to overcome communication barriers using mainstream technology. 

Learn about Conexu's other OpenAccess apps:

Access the arts (OpenAccess Tours)

Our Pocket-sized Auslan learning tool (OpenAccessSmart Auslan)

Join the conversation (OpenAccess Chat)   

Learn about accessible technology for deaf and hard of hearing people (Techfinder)



Available on iPhone or iPad

for easy display

and it's FREE !

Face to Face app complements and supports

Auslan learning classes enabling

your to practice at home,

work or anywhere

Vast library of Auslan videos and icons on different topics

Quick way to learn Auslan, practice, improve Auslan communication skills, improve English literacy skills anywhere and anytime.

- A comprehensive vocabulary list of over 2000 words and still growing;

- Several themes including ‘Everyday words’, ‘Food’, ‘Sport’, ‘Family’, ‘Education’, ’Workplace’, ‘Countries’ and more;

- Ability to slowdown playback to help practice your Auslan signing;

- Can create sentences;

- Create favorite words or phrases

- Word search and more.

Sync content to appear on paired iPad or iPhone

to learn together with others

Build favourites

for popular sayings and quick phrases

Helpful Tips

Create sentences, slow down video speed, share Auslan videos with others and word search option

OVER 2000 WORDS (and growing)

one of Australia’s biggest databases of Auslan

Case Studies

  • Creating Auslan Signs for Health and Wellbeing vocabulary.

    With a grant from the Brockhoff Foundation in May 2018, Conexu is currently working with Deaf organisations and schools to develop a list of over 500 words to be translated into Auslan and add to our OpenAccess Face to Face app in early 2019.

    With current community concern about mental health and wellbeing, young deaf people are at risk of missing out on important information and understanding the meaning of common words used when talking or learning about this important issue. With access to Auslan signs for these words, deaf people.

  • Building Australia's first Auslan sports sign dictionary

    Together, Conexu and Deaf Sports Australia decided to build Australia’s first deaf sports sign dictionary housed in the face-to-face app. The app provides a way for coaches and team mates to easily learn the key signs to use to communicate during training and during the game. And it’s not just language barriers that come down. Bringing people together through learning simple Auslan (Australian Sign Language) also removes negative stereotypes and breeds acceptance. The app provides a ready reference for non-Auslan users to refer to when they’re learning or if they forget the sign.

    In December 2015, athletes at the Australian Deaf Games started recording ‘draft’ signs for their sports. So far, 8 sports and over 480 signs have been captured. Auslan has local variations that must be catered for and the next step is working through the signs to find the ones that the community believes are best.

    In August 2016, Conexu won a $5k grant from Sunsuper to continue working with Deaf Sports Australia on building out this sports sign content. 

  • Learning in the workplace: Tradeblock Cafe, Melbourne

    Conexu in collaboration with the Victorian College of the Deaf (VCD) created Tradeblock café app as well as our generic OpenAccess Face to Face app in 2015. Tradeblock café app is currently in use at the Trade Block Cafe at VCD in St Kilda, where a large bank of signs (eg; ‘everyday words’ and ‘hospitality’) specific to ordering in the cafe was created. Deaf students and employees use the paired app to communicate with hearing customers as they order their morning coffee and cake.  Hearing customers can also learn and practice Auslan with the support of the app and café specific signs across languages. For instance, 'one cappuccino, one sugar please'. 

    A café environment allows students to develop general employability skills, so whether or not they continue a career in the hospitality field, they will have lots of transferrable skills that can be applied in all aspects of their life. Language is not a barrier here. This technology enables hearing people to easily communicate with the Deaf.

    - Amanda Joyce, Café Manager and teacher at the Victorian College for the Deaf

    I really appreciate this new app and the greater depth it gives me to be able to communicate automatically with customers in my natural language.

    - Rebecca Stebbing, student at the Victorian College for the Deaf

    The cafe is a very popular with hearing people. They do not have to worry about how to communicate with the Deaf staff there. The Deaf staff can see that signed order. That is an example of innovation, where it can be very successful to create a community hub. It does not matter if Deaf or hearing people come to the cafe to order their food. It has all Deaf staff, and it is giving them an opportunity to work. It works very well. I think there are good possibilities with that.

    Leonie Jackson, CEO of The Deaf Society of New South Wales, as mentioned in parliament at the Standing Committee on education and employment -  Small business employment 19 NOVEMBER 2015

  • A tool for better communication with university study

    I use OpenAccess Face to Face at work and university for my studies. Firstly, my supervisor wants to learn how to sign with me, She wants to get involved in the Deaf community to help me out and understand how to sign. I showed her OpenAccess Face to Face so she can see the signs. She can learn one word at a time or important words to help her communicate with me at work.

    At university, other students in my class want to know how to sign too, so I showed them OpenAccess Face to Face and they were like, “WOW it’s great!” They see the interpreters and think they’re fantastic. They think it’s great.

    - Dan Jarvis, currently studying his Master of Bsuiness and uses OpenAccess Face to Face to assist with communication  

  • Pilot trial with Furlong Park School for Deaf Children

    In May 2016, Conexu worked with Furlong Park School to trial Open Access Face to Face in a school setting, where Deaf students used the technology to practice Auslan and English with prompted videos. Furlong Park School are continuing to utilise the App as part of their literacy support and development program.

    This was very exciting with the students learning about words and signs for food, fruit, money etc. One recent experience was where we went to the shops down the road. We used the app to practice communicating with the shop staff. The students didn't know some vegetables and we found that the woman working at the shop didn't know English very well. So we were both using gestures and the app to show her the pictures of the vegetable or fruit and she learned the sign for them and signed to the students. Wonderful. The same when we were paying for the food. The shopkeeper was very excited.

    - David Buchanan, Teacher at Furlong Park School for Deaf Children

    I've found students have improved their communication etiquette skills, when to or when not to interrupt and also turn-taking. Their spelling and reading skills improved too. The students love their iPads, of course...we believe it would be very useful for other schools to give this program a try.

    - Melissa Bryson, Teacher at Furlong Park School for Deaf Children

How it works

Infographic showing how to use the app for in-person conversation

Infographic showing how to use the app for in-person conversation (step one)

Infographic showing how to use the app for in-person conversation (step two)

Infographic showing how to use the app for in-person conversation (step three)

Anyone is able to choose the words or phrase they want to sign and then a short, pre-recorded video shows an Auslan sign(s) for their selection. When two devices are paired, the video can simultaneously plays on the other person’s iPad allowing the two parties to communicate. Users are also able to string sentences together in Auslan, something you can’t do with any other app. Alternately, you can use the app on one iPad or iPhone to learn Auslan at home, work or at school.

Click here to download the how to guide

Click here to watch our video tutorial


Answers to frequently asked questions.

Anyone who wants to learn or communicate in Auslan for school, work or social purposes, can benefit from this learning tool. The app was developed as an educational and community learning tool to overcome communication barriers and assist communication between Deaf people and hearing people.

The app is free to download. However, downloading the video library when you initially set up the app uses data. The files are large and can take a bit of time to download, so it’s best to use Wi-Fi to minimise your data costs.

OpenAccess Face to Face requires an iPad or iPhone with iOS 8.0 or later.

Getting started is easy! After downloading the app, you will find a list of themes that include ‘Everyday Words’, ‘Food’, ‘Family’, ‘Sport’, ‘Hospitality’, ‘Workplace’, ‘Technology’, etc.

You can choose to download the complete video library or select only themes to download. It is best to do this on a Wi-Fi network. Please set aside time for this first time as there are quite a few videos (note: you will only need to do this once). When it’s finished you can scroll through the themes and categories and start learning Auslan. Using our ‘Add to Sentence’ feature, you can string together sentences and practice at home, school, work or out and about. 

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