Annual Report 2022-2023

iSign

We emerged from COVID under the traffic light system and for three months we sat in an Orange state of alert and although only last year this seems like an age away. The Orange setting still imposed restrictions as to how we could operate with vaccine passes required in some settings as well as scanning and record keeping. Vaccine mandates continued and these were only relaxed in July this year.

The team at iSign, led by General Manager Mark Crooke, continued to look after the interests of the Deaf community and interpreters by enforcing the regular advice received from the various government agencies to keep everyone safe. There were many instances where last minute changes to venue, platform and interpreter were made following that advice.

We commenced our graduate interpreter programme in January after identifying a need to not only increase the number of interpreters but to recognise the disruption that had occurred over the past two years. The impact of COVID meant that the latest cohort of graduates have not had the opportunity to be involved in observations and had limited situations where they were exposed to the Deaf community.

We have employed three graduates as staff interpreters and are helping them develop skills further as they begin their interpreting career journey and are reaching out to areas of the community which have been underserved by the unavailability of interpreters.

During the course of the year we were involved with many community and sporting events including interpreted national anthems at international netball series and the Women’s Rugby World Cup Final. We provided interpreters throughout the February Floods emergency updates and continued the broadcast of post cabinet and government announcements on Kordia television. We have been proud to support the NZSL4U Camp, Bowling tournaments and training and the NZ Deaf Rugby Sevens. As part of our commitment to interpreters we have also sponsored SLIANZ training initiatives and will continue to do so.

It is pleasing to see that the number of bookings has increased on last year by 10% and the number of interpreting hours delivered has also increased by 24%.

The year ahead is both exciting and challenging with the interpreted 2023 Election Leaders Debates happening, major funding contracts under negotiation and new requirements around the training and qualification of interpreters being determined.

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