New Zealand Sign Language Week

New Zealand Sign Language Week 2018 took place from Monday 7 to Sunday 13 May 2018. Deaf Aotearoa organises this celebration of one of the country’s official languages, New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL).

New Zealand Sign Language Week

NZSL Week helps promote the language and aims to raise awareness about New Zealand’s Deaf community. It also provides the Deaf community a chance to put their hands up and be heard, and to stand proud as Deaf as well as promoting their language and culture.

2018 events at libraries

Linwood Library at Eastgate hosted taster classes to help people learn some basics of New Zealand Sign Language, one of New Zealand's three official languages. There were also special Wā Kōrero / Storytimes and Wā Pēpi / Babytimes sessions incorporating NZSL.

NZSL Resources

There are a range of useful New Zealand Sign Language resources on the Deaf Aotearoa website, including Let's talk booklets with 25 signs to learn at work, with your family, Māori concepts, for medical situations, and for the weekend.

Library resources

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Other resources

Ministry of Education New Zealand in collaboration with Deaf Aotearoa, have produced a number of children's Ready to Read eBooks that use NZSL. They can be purchased from iTunes (for Apple devices) or GooglePlay (for Android devices). Titles include:

  • Hairy Maclary from Donaldson's Diary by Lynley Dodd
  • The King's Birthday, by Dot Meharry
  • Talking to Nanny by Jo Carson-Barry

The Ministry of Education also has Thumbs Up! An Introduction to New Zealand Sign Language, a resource supports the teaching and learning of NZSL as an additional language in English-medium schools.

The New Zealand Federation for Deaf Children is a useful website for parents.

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