Thursday, May 23, 2024

Govt spreads Sign Language Week message

Disabilities Issues Minister, Louise Upston says New Zealand Sign Language Week is an excellent opportunity for all Kiwis to give the language a go.

The theme for this year’s New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) Week (May 6-12) is “an Aotearoa where anyone can sign anywhere” and aims to spread the joy of NZSL across the country. 

“NZSL is one of our official languages and is used by about 23,000 New Zealanders,” said Minister Upston.

“The coalition Government is committed to delivering better public services that improve outcomes for the Deaf community, which is why the Ministry of Disabled People – Whaikaha is working with the NZSL Board, Deaf Aotearoa, and other organisations on promoting and maintaining NZSL, including through the development of a refreshed NZSL Strategy this year.”

Disabilities Issues Minister, Louise Upston practices NZSL today.

The Minister said it was important that people were encouraged to use and support NZSL to ensure it exists long into the future.

“The Government, through the NZSL Board, invests about $1.25 million each year to support initiatives that promote and maintain NZSL, including the online dictionary, which is a great resource for anyone who wants to learn.”

“Deaf Aotearoa organises NZSL Week, and I’d like to recognise its commitment to promoting NZSL and strengthening the rights of Deaf people in New Zealand,” said Ms Upston.

  • Watch a NZSL Week message from Prime Minister, Christopher Luxon here.
  • An NZSL version of the Government’s media statement can be found here.

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