Annual Report 2021-2022 – Children & Youth

Children & Youth

The Children & Youth service continues to grow and develop! Under the leadership of General Manager Bridget and Team Leader Natasha – the team has further developed the First Signs service and developed closer relationships with families of school aged children and Deaf youth. Deaf Aotearoa continues to be a contributing member of the Deaf Leadership international Alliance (DLIA) and over the past year we have developed a tip sheet for families about ‘How to collaborate with Deaf adults in Early Intervention’ as well as tips for ‘Visual strategies’. These tips are available in a variety of languages including NZSL and English. The number of families in our First Signs service is growing following the funding increase from the Ministry of Education. We have undertaken a recruitment drive to increase the number of Facilitators in our team. We have also increased the number of young people we are supporting. This involved strengthening our collaboration with the transition students at Ko Taku Reo Deaf Education NZ.

We appreciate the support we get from families in our service who are willing to share their story’s with to others. NZSL Week was a success again as we brought families together at local events – where NZSL was celebrated. It is wonderful to have the input from wider family members, and to see the growth of awareness and NZSL in the local communities.

During International Week of the Deaf (IWD) 2022, we hosted events throughout NZ for families to come together and celebrate IWD and International Day of Sign Languages. Team leader Natasha attended the Family Centred Early Intervention congress in Austria and presented at the pre-conference. We have also contributed to the rewrite of the International consensus statement on best practice in early intervention with families with Deaf/hard of hearing children. We are looking forward to another year of growth with Children, Youth and their whanau, at the centre of our work.