Animation character

Bluey: The problem with Dougie, the new deaf character of the ABC show

The problem with Bluey’s new deaf character: Fans spot a small detail in ABC’s children’s show that could be confusing

ABC’s acclaimed children’s animated television series, Bluey, introduced its first deaf character this week.

Little dog Dougie uses Auslan, or Australian Sign Language for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, to communicate with his mother, reports 7News.

Viewers have however pointed out on social media that Auslan uses five fingers to sign but Dougie, being a dog, only has four.

ABC’s acclaimed children’s animated television series, Bluey, introduced its first deaf character, Dougie, this week. But viewers pointed out that Auslan uses five fingers to sign and Dougie, being a dog, only has four.

But producers say Dougie only uses simple signs that can be done with four or five fingers and can be easily understood by Auslan users.

“When you look at Dougie, you can tell exactly what he’s saying,” explained Brent Phillips, director of impact at advocacy group Deaf Connect.

Mr. Phillips consulted with the creators of Bluey to develop the character of Dougie.

However, the producers say that Dougie only uses simple signs that can be done with four or five fingers and can be easily understood by Auslan users.  Advocacy group Deaf Connect worked with Bluey's production company to develop Dougie's character

However, the producers say that Dougie only uses simple signs that can be done with four or five fingers and can be easily understood by Auslan users. Advocacy group Deaf Connect worked with Bluey’s production company to develop Dougie’s character

“It’s a credit to the animation team for considering the idea and doing justice to our language,” he added.

Mr Phillips said the priority was to position Auslan as part of normal life, adding: “I think they’ve done really well.”

Fans of the show shared on Facebook how Dougie’s introduction had a positive impact on their family.

Fans of the show have given moving accounts on Facebook of how Dougie's introduction has had a positive impact on their family.

Fans of the show have given moving accounts on Facebook of how Dougie’s introduction has had a positive impact on their family.

“Congratulations on this beautiful episode,” wrote a happy fan. “Representation is important and you nailed it today.”

A mum with a profoundly deaf son also posted: ‘I started crying at the inclusion of Auslan.

“I looked at my son and he was smiling from ear to ear! At the end, he came to give me a hug.

Bluey is one of the most popular children's programs on TV

Bluey is one of the most popular children’s programs on TV

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