At a local level, Deaf Aotearoa staff advocate daily for service users’ rights to access the services and support they need and want, and for their local Deaf communities to access what they need and want. Examples include advocating for Deaf employees when there has been a breakdown in communication that could cause a Deaf person to lose their job; or working with local Work and Income offices to ensure NZSL interpreting services are provided for Deaf people’s appointments.
At the national level, Deaf Aotearoa works closely with the Government and government agencies to ensure that legislation and policy enables equitable lives for Deaf people. Deaf Aotearoa is the government-recognised DPO representing the interests of Deaf New Zealanders, and is a founding member of the DPO Coalition. Through its work with the DPO Coalition, Deaf Aotearoa ensures the voice of Deaf people is represented in the Government’s Disability Action Plan and in the implementation and monitoring of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD).
At the international level, Deaf Aotearoa works with the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) to promote the human rights of Deaf people in New Zealand, Pacific Island countries and beyond. Currently, Deaf Aotearoa is supporting two New Zealand Deaf people to work closely with WFD, Victoria Manning, MNZM has been elected to the WFD Board 2019 – 2023; and Mark Berry has been re-elected President of the WFD Youth Section Board 2019 – 2023 after serving an initial four-year term from 2015.
Some examples of Deaf Aotearoa’s recent advocacy and advice at the national level includes: