International Symbol for Deafness®

The International Symbol for Deafness, also known as the International Deafness Symbol, identifies places that provide consistently functional hearing augmentation services.
The Symbol is a trademark registered in Australia by the Deafness Forum of Australia.

Quick link to ... Signage Guide for hearing augmentation systems - 2016 edition
While primarily intended to identify the existence of assistive listening systems (induction loops, FM and infrared), the International Symbol for Deafness also may be used to identify the existence of other forms of hearing access.  There are other symbols that can and should be used to identify such facilities as Auslan interpreters.

Becoming an approved user of the Symbol is a simple and swift process that begins with your email inquiry.  To avoid unwanted emails, our address is without spaces:info (type the usual symbol for "at")


Approved use of the Symbol will be good for terms of up to two financial years beginning 1 July 2015. 

Conditions for use

Deafness Forum encourages the correct use of the Symbol by licensees to identify and promote venues that provide hearing augmentation or access.

Providers of signage, advice and/or technical services should ensure their clients are aware of these trademark requirements. 
a)    The Symbol may not be used by commercial enterprises as an advertising logo or in any way to promote or identify commercially available goods or services; or to state or imply competitive advantage.  In practice, this means that manufacturers, distributors and installers need to avoid placing their own contact details or logos too close to the Symbol (or too large relative to the Symbol).  By way of illustration, it would be considered reasonable if the installing company’s name and contact number took up less than one percent of a poster on which the actual International Symbol for Deafness took up approximately 15 percent of the total poster.  The more space that was taken up by the installing company’s name and contact number relative to the Symbol, the more likely that approval for use of the Symbol might not be given, or withdrawn by Deafness Forum.
It is not permitted for the International Symbol for Deafness to be used on letterheads.  This is because it is not the letterhead (or indeed the letterhead’s organisation) that needs to be identified as providing hearing access.  It is the actual location of an assistive listening system (or other form of hearing access) that needs to be identified to a consumer.  
It is appropriate for organisations to advertise to clients that they provide hearing access.  For example, public venues (cinemas, theatres, lecture halls, etc.) are encouraged to inform potential patrons that they have hearing access facilities.  In the same way, conference organisers and the like are encouraged to advise potential attendees that a venue they are using has a particular form of hearing access.  There are, therefore, situations in which use of the Symbol will be appropriate to promote the existence of a facility at a planned event.  These situations are considered to be quite different from manufacturers, distributors or installers seeking to promote their commercial goods or services.
b)    The Symbol displayed at a place(s) will be accompanied by an explanatory caption, indicating the location and type(s) of hearing augmentation available.
c)    Inappropriate use and/or representation of the International Symbol for Deafness, which in the judgement of Deafness Forum Ltd (which may take into account the opinion of consumers of the service), including but not limited to a failure to provide a reliably functional hearing augmentation service, may result in withdrawal of the right to display the Symbol.  
d)    A user will advise the trademark owner at the earliest opportunity if further places are added during the term of a license. 
e)    In replicating the Symbol, it will be truthful to the registered design.  The colour of the International Symbol for Deafness in physical signage shall be white on a blue background.  The blue shall be B21, Ultramarine of AS 2700.  The colour of the Symbol in electronic forms shall also be white on a blue background.  The blue shall be Pantone Reflex Blue C.  See also (but not limited to) Australian Standard 1428.1 2009, Clause 8.2; Australian Standard 1428.5 2010, Section 5; Building Codes of Australia 1998 through to 2012, Section D3.6.

Use of the Symbol is conditional on agreement to, and ongoing compliance with the above-mentioned terms, conditions and advice.

License fee(s)

  • For not for profit community, education and religious organisations; and for organisations that are members of Deafness Forum of Australia, there shall be no fee - this entitlement may not be transferred to another entity;
  • For other entities and government departments, their agencies and institutions, an administrative fee of A$115.50 inclusive of GST shall apply to each license term – a reduced fee may apply to multiple places; and
  • For small businesses that in our opinion are setting a standard that larger organisations could follow, they may be acknowledged with a reduced fee.

Further information

Download a free information resource: 
Signage Guide for hearing augmentation systems - 2016 edition