News | 9 May 2022
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Handy ways to support NZ Sign Language Week

New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) is an official language of Aotearoa and is essential for Deaf people to be able to participate equally in society. It’s NZSL Week – here are some handy resources to celebrate and support NZSL.

Banner from NZSL week with a person in a blazer signing.

Learn how to greet someone 

A simple hello can make someone’s day, so learn how to say ‘Kia ora, nice to meet you’ and more through the NZSL dictionary.

Understand why NZSL is important  

To celebrate NZSL, you can check out some awesome videos of leaders from Aotearoa’s Deaf community sharing why NZSL is essential. Once you’ve watched them, give them a share and send your favourite videos to your family and friends! 

Learn how to sign your name 

Have a go at learning how to sign your name and then have fun with your whānau and friends by teaching them theirs! Find a PDF or watch a video of the NZSL alphabet and lots more information on the NZSL Week website.  

Practise using NZSL in common situations 

You can watch, learn and practise how to use NZSL in everyday situations through online modules on the Learn NZSL website, a free learning portal. Each module has videos, resources and exercises for each situation – ranging from how to sign about various topics, including your community, work, and tips for small talk. 

Get the history on NZSL 

Did you know that NZSL has been in use for over a century, but wasn’t made an official language until 2006. In 2018, it was estimated that 3,000 to 4,000 deaf people used NZSL as their main language. Find out more about the history of the language on the Te Ara website.

Visit the NZSL Week website to see what events are coming up.