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NZSL Week 2017

Each May, Deaf Aotearoa runs New Zealand Sign Language Week, celebrating one of New Zealand’s official languages. NZSL Week raises awareness of New Zealand’s Deaf community and provides a platform for Deaf people to proudly promote their language and culture.

The Faces of NZSL Week 2017

This year’s faces of NZSL Week, Monique, Joe, Chelcie and Miggy, represent the focus of NZSL Week 2017 – youth. They are all youth interns at Deaf Aotearoa, spending 12 months gaining work experience, skills and a qualification. Based in Auckland, Hamilton and Wellington, Monique, Joe, Chelcie and Miggy demonstrate NZSL’s bright future with young deaf people.

Monique portrait joe portrait

Monique                                                        Joe

Miggy portrait Chelcie portrait

Miggy                                                          Chelcie


What’s Happening?

NZSL Week is always a busy and exciting time and this year is no different. Hundreds of free Taster Classes and dozens of events are being held all over New Zealand, with exciting and engaging resources always available online. This year, schools can now register to receive a Taster Class any time during Term Two! Businesses, organisations and other groups can register to have Taster Class any time throughout May.


What’s NZSL?

NZSL is the natural language of Deaf New Zealanders and is used daily by more than 20,000 Kiwis. Rather than simply being a signed representation of spoken English, NZSL is a separate language, with its own structure and grammar.

What does Deaf Aotearoa do?

Deaf Aotearoa is a national organisation representing the voice of Deaf people, and the national service provider for Deaf people in New Zealand. Deaf Aotearoa also works closely with Deaf communities, government agencies and other organisations to increase awareness, promote NZSL and strengthen the rights of Deaf people. Deaf Aotearoa is the New Zealand representative member of the World Federation of the Deaf, one of 133 members. For more information, visit deaf.org.nz/about-us

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