New Zealand Sign Language Week an opportunity for anyone to sign

New Zealand Sign Language Week is an excellent opportunity for all Kiwis to give the language a go, Disabilities Issues Minister Louise Upston says.

This week (May 6 to 12) is New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) Week. The theme is “an Aotearoa where anyone can sign anywhere” and aims to spread the joy of NZSL across the country.

“NZSL is one of our official languages and is used by about 23,000 New Zealanders,” Louise Upston says.

“The coalition Government is committed to delivering better public services that improve outcomes for the Deaf community, which is why the Ministry of Disabled People – Whaikaha is working with the NZSL Board, Deaf Aotearoa, and other organisations on promoting and maintaining NZSL, including through the development of a refreshed NZSL Strategy this year.

“It’s important that people are encouraged to use and support NZSL so that it exists long into the future.

“The Government, through the NZSL Board, invests about $1.25 million each year to support initiatives that promote and maintain NZSL, including the online dictionary, which is a great resource for anyone who wants to learn.

“Deaf Aotearoa organises NZSL Week, and I’d like to recognise its commitment to promoting NZSL and strengthening the rights of Deaf people in New Zealand.”

  • You can watch a NZSL Week message from Prime Minister Rt Hon Christopher Luxon here

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