All around Australia, gym-goers are yelled at by enthusiastic exercise class instructors to go harder and faster.
But, that can be pretty tough to follow if you’re deaf.
Self-described Hobart gym freak Jarran Harris was born without hearing.
The 27-year-old is combining his passion for fitness with his skills Australian sign language (Auslan) to instruct gym classes for the deaf.
The free classes will be trialled for six months at Hobart’s PCYC, which received support from the Hobart City Council to establish the classes and provide free membership for participants.
It’s believed to be an Australian first.
Signing the workout
To get the class pumping, Mr Harris will use Auslan to explain the moves along with emphasised expressions.
He said deaf people would feel more comfortable participating in the class if it was run by a deaf person.
“It will break down the barriers,” he said.
“I’ll be running bootcamp and circuit which involves weight training along with a core workout, whole-body workout and we will use exercise equipment.”
Breaking down daily barriers
There are about 500 deaf people in Tasmania, and one in six of the population are hard of hearing.
Expression Australia chief executive Christine Mathieson said deaf and hard-of-hearing people experienced many barriers in daily life, particularly when it came to access to communication and Auslan.
She said the InstructAbility program was great example of making an everyday activity more accessible.
“By having a deaf instructor who is fitness industry qualified running classes in Auslan means people can access the program in their native language,” she said.