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New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) Awareness Week

Published : 2021-05-11
Author : Hon Carmel Sepuloni - Contact: c.sepuloni@ministers.govt.nz

Synopsis: The week of the 10th to 16th May, 2021, is New Zealand Sign Language Week (NZSL), a nationwide celebration of NZSL as an official language of New Zealand. The Government has also taken steps to invest in inclusive and accessible spaces for the Deaf and hard-of-hearing community. This week is also about lifting the status of NZSL by making sure we're constantly including our Deaf and hard-of-hearing community in everything we do.

Main Digest

The week of the 10th to 16th May, 2021, is New Zealand Sign Language Week (NZSL), a nationwide celebration of NZSL as an official language of New Zealand...

"We're recognized as a world leader for our commitment to maintaining and furthering the use of our sign language," says Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni. "That's why it's important that we take this opportunity to really celebrate and affirm the passion and diversity of our Deaf and hard-of-hearing community."

"This week is also about lifting the status of NZSL by making sure we're constantly including our Deaf and hard-of-hearing community in everything we do - from our everyday conversations to decision-making."

"I note for example, how important it was that we had NZSL interpreters at the COVID-19 1pm press briefings during the initial alert level restrictions. It was the one constant thing that connected the community with news at the same time as the rest of the country."

"The Government has also taken steps to invest in inclusive and accessible spaces for the Deaf and hard-of-hearing community. Ko Taku Reo Deaf Education New Zealand, who run a youth theatre project received funding as part of the Government's Creatives in Schools program."

"This particular project underlines the importance of supporting the community to confidently express and celebrate their unique Deaf culture, and strengthen their sense of identity and belonging in the arts and creative space."

"Bridging these divides and breaking down barriers continue to be a key priority for me, from making news and spaces accessible to encouraging more New Zealanders to participate in New Zealand sign language. This is all part of building an inclusive Aotearoa." Carmel Sepuloni said.

Carmel Sepuloni

MP for Kelston, Carmel Sepuloni is of Samoan, Tongan and NZ European descent. She was born and raised in Waitara but has lived in Auckland since 1996. Outside of politics Carmel has worked broadly across the health and education sectors, working as a Literacy Educator with youth in West Auckland, teaching in Samoa, managing equity programs at the University of Auckland, managing the non-regulated Pacific health research project and acting as CEO of New Zealand's only national Pacific health provider, Vaka Tautua.

New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL)

NZSL is the main language of the Deaf community in New Zealand. It became an official language of New Zealand in April 2006, alongside Maori and English. Like other natural sign languages, it was devised by and for Deaf people, with no linguistic connection to a spoken or written language, and it is fully capable of expressing anything a fluent signer wants to say.

Source/Reference

New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) Awareness Week | Hon Carmel Sepuloni (c.sepuloni@ministers.govt.nz). Disabled World makes no warranties or representations in connection therewith. Content may have been edited for style, clarity or length.

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Cite Page: Journal: Disabled World. Language: English (U.S.). Author: Hon Carmel Sepuloni. Electronic Publication Date: 2021-05-11. Title: New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) Awareness Week, Source: <a href=https://www.disabled-world.com/disability/types/hearing/communication/nzsl.php>New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) Awareness Week</a>. Retrieved 2021-06-19, from https://www.disabled-world.com/disability/types/hearing/communication/nzsl.php - Reference: DW#167-13965.