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New Zealand Sign Language Week

New Zealand Sign Language Week

New Zealand Sign Language Week 2020 was originally scheduled to take place from Monday 4 to Sunday 10 May it was then changed to 21 to 27 September to coincide with the United Nations International Day of Sign Languages held on 23 September.

The New Zealand Sign Language Collection

A sign language reference collection including accounts of the deaf experience.

About NZ Sign Language Week

Deaf Aotearoa organises this celebration of one of the country’s official languages, New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). 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.

New Zealand Sign Language

New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) is the language of New Zealand’s deaf community and was made an official language by the New Zealand Sign Language Act 2006. NZSL can express concepts from both English and te reo Māori but is itself a distinct language.
Rachel McKee, New Zealand Sign Language, Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 22 September 2020)

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 NZSL resources

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).

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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