Nominations for the New Zealand Sign Language Awards 2024 are officially open! 🤩

Let’s recognise amazing organisations and individuals in Aotearoa doing great things to promote and preserve the language and celebrate all the excellent mahi and successes together! 🙌

Upcoming events

Katherine Mansfield Centenary: Author Talk with Redmer Yska

Join us for a special discussion on iconic writer Katherine Mansfield at Karori Library on Thursday November 30th, 6-7pm. Redmer Yska, author of ‘Katherine Mansfield’s Europe: Station to Station’ will be joined by our Local & NZ History Specialist Gábor Tóth to deep dive into Mansfield’s words, travels and her ... Read more

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Free, 247 Karori Road
Wellington, 6012
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Access Centre – Thames

We can provide: - Opportunity to have a chat and to meet other Deaf people. - Free information and support services - Advice - Translation support (e.g. support with reading letters and forms etc.) - New ideas for ACE workshops - Information about Deaf Aotearoa services - Information about assistive ... Read more

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Thames Community Centre, 609 Mackay Street,
Thames, New Zealand
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EGL workshop – Access Centre – Thames

Enabling Good Lives (EGL) workshop What is EGL? When will EGL start? For more information about the 8 principles of EGL, come along to the workshop, Join us at the Access Centre.

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Thames Community Centre, 609 Mackay Street,
Thames, New Zealand
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The Santa Claus Show ’23 NZSL interpreted shows

NZSL interpreted: The Santa Claus Show ’23 by Tim Bray, with songs by Christine White Ho-ho-ho, it’s Christmas show time! This show is called The Santa Claus Show, by Tim Bray. Join Kelly and Alana on their Christmas adventure to the North Pole, meeting Santa’s chief elf and Santa Claus ... Read more

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The PumpHouse Theatre, Takapuna, 2a Manurere Avenue, Takapuna
Auckland, 0622 New Zealand
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Driver Licence Theory Practice

Do you want to get your driver licence for work or want to be independent to drive your own car? Do you find hard to understand Theory test & road code book and want to learn more OR you need to pass your licence or would need to refresh your ... Read more

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Deaf Society of Canterbury, 80 Fitzgerald Ave
Christchurch, 8023 New Zealand
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Cooking on a budget – Christmas Biscuits

Learn about budgeting to save money and how to reduce food waste. We will also make some Christmas biscuits. Coffee & tea will be provided.

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Blind Low Vision Foundation Hall, 96 Bristol Street, St Albans
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What we 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 New Zealand Sign Language and strengthen the rights of Deaf people.

Deaf Aotearoa is one of 133 ordinary members of the World Federation of the Deaf and is also the New Zealand representative.   

Our Services

Deaf Aotearoa delivers flexible and responsive services which accommodates the Deaf community’s needs. We provide knowledge, information, resources and skills. With these, Deaf people are able to independently manage events in their own lives.

Deaf Aotearoa works with government agencies, businesses and other organisations to provide information and resources on life for Deaf New Zealanders, the Deaf community and NZSL.

Deaf Aotearoa delivers key services to the Deaf community, in line with the objectives defined in the Strategic Direction.

These services are designed to ensure Deaf people can achieve their goals at any stage in life, from birth onwards.

Adults and Seniors


Deaf Aotearoa’s Hauora* service is a nationwide service that understands and responds to Deaf and hard-of-hearing people’s needs.

The Hauora service offers:

  1. needs assessment and coordination
  2. applications for assistive equipment
  3. information and advice.

*Hauora is an holistic approach to health and wellbeing. It is a Māori concept that views wellbeing as a combination of physical health, emotional/mental health, being socially healthy, and being spiritually healthy.

Adults and Seniors


Deaf Aotearoa’s Employment service is a nationwide service focused on getting Deaf and hard-of-hearing people into successful employment.

It includes pre-employment support and in-work support for both the Deaf person and employers.

The Employment service offers support for:

  • Deaf and hard-of-hearing people to get a job
  • Deaf and hard-of-hearing people to remain in their job
  • employers to understand more about employing Deaf people, including information on Deaf culture and funding for New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) interpreters in the workplace.

Children and Youth

First Signs

A nationwide Deaf Aotearoa service for Deaf and hard-of-hearing children aged 0-5, supporting families and whānau with:

  • Learning New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL)
  • Language development
  • Learning about being Deaf/hard-of-hearing in Aotearoa
  • Connecting with other families and Deaf role models.

First Signs brings NZSL into the home and family/whānau environments, making learning NZSL fun.

iSign Interpreting Service

iSign enables access and participation for Deaf people by providing professional and confidential New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) interpreting services.

iSign is a nationwide service enabling effective communication between Deaf and hearing people.

iSign matches job requests with available and appropriate interpreters throughout New Zealand.

iSign contracts more than 80 qualified interpreters who are all members of their professional body, ensuring a confidential and professional service.

Funding is available to cover a wide range of interpreting service jobs.

iSign staff can advise on available sources of funding. Funding information is also available on the ‘How it Works/Who Pays?’ page of the iSign website.
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