Deaf student’s journey with academic excellence and NZSL advocacy

Deaf student’s journey with academic excellence and NZSL advocacy

This May, Cha’nel Kaa-Luke (Ngāti Ruanui, Ngāruahine, Ngāti Porou), will celebrate New Zealand Sign Language Week, and graduate with a Certificate in Deaf Studies.

Cha’nel moved to Te Whanganui-a-Tara to study a Bachelor of Arts and Certificate of Deaf Studies in 2019 but moved back home to be with her whānau when the pandemic hit. In 2022, they came back to Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington to complete their degree.

“I don’t think I’ll ever stop wanting to learn,” Cha’nel says. “In high school everybody had endless options of where they wanted to study. I really only had one option, Vic.” Cha’nel is deaf, and fluent in New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) which she relies on to communicate daily.

“I felt a sense of comfort and awareness at the Vic campus. The environment and the minimum provisions I need are already here,” Cha’nel explains. “That feeling is why I love being here. I still have to advocate, but the basis, foundation, and understanding already exists. I can focus on my studies, which is what I came here to do.”

The Certificate of Deaf Studies gives students […]

Click here to read more at the original web page at www.wgtn.ac.nz

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