New Zealand Sign Language Week raises awareness about New Zealand’s Deaf community and the contribution and colour NZSL brings. New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) is the natural language of Deaf New Zealanders, and one of the official languages of New Zealand. It reflects the country’s culture and includes signs for Maori terminology and concepts unique to New Zealand.

As an official New Zealand language, NZSL is used daily by more than 24,000 New Zealanders.

New Zealand Sign Language Week is an opportunity for all New Zealanders to find out a bit more about New Zealand Sign Language, and get a chance to try it for themselves. New Zealand Sign Language is for all Kiwis and there are loads of ways that everyone can get involved!

New Zealand Sign Language Week Taster Classes

Throughout New Zealand Sign Language Week, Deaf Aotearoa will be hosting over 600 free 45 minute NZSL Taster Classes around the country. These will provide more people with the opportunity to get a taste of NZSL and learn more skills that will help them communicate with Deaf New Zealanders.

There will be a range of resources available including downloadable resources, posters, and finger-spelling cards.

My Favourite Sign

All New Zealanders can also have a go at filming themselves signing “My Favourite Sign” at video booths that will be set up at numerous NZSL Week events and promotions.

Sign Ninja

This year, in time for NZSL week , Deaf Aotearoa is creating and launching Sign Ninja, an online game that will enable even more people to learn New Zealand Sign Language. The game can be played online on PC or Mac, on tablets, and smartphones. Sign Ninja will be a fun and engaging interactive game with webisode elements and education about NZSL at its forefront.

I’m Deaf – Let’s Talk NZSL Resources

Deaf Aotearoa has produced quality resources to encourage New Zealanders to easily learn NZSL. Included in these resources are four quality booklets which feature 25 popular signs to: Learn for the Weekend; Learn with Family; Learn at Work; Learn for a Medical Situation.

For more information about New Zealand Sign Language Week or Deaf Aotearoa please visit www.nzslweek.org.nz

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This information was compiled by the Kiwi Families team.

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