Celebrating New Zealand Sign Language Week

May 6-May 12 is New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) Week. It is organized each year Deaf Aotearoa, a national organization representing the voice of Deaf people in New Zealad. The theme for this year is “My Language My Place”.
NZSL is an official language of New Zealand, and is used daily by more than 20,000 Kiwis. Rather than simply being a signed representation of spoken English, NZSL is a separate language, with its own structure and grammar. To celebrate NZSL week, Parliament will feature NZSL interpretation during the Speaker’s daily briefing videos and question time during the week. The briefings can be viewed on the Parliament website, Facebook page, or on Parliament TV.
NZSL became an
official language of New Zealand in 2006 when the NZSL Act was passed
into law, and the next year in 2006, Deaf Aotearoa organized the
first NZSL Week, making this this 13th year celebrating
NZSL Week.

The 2019 theme “My
Language, My Place” aims to be a reflection on the unique value of
NZSL to New Zealand. NZSL has developed in New Zealand, for New
Zealanders, and can be used to express concepts unique to New
Zealand, such as Māori concepts and local place names. In 2017/8,
the NZSL online dictionary uploaded hundreds of place name signs, so
all New Zealanders are able to access and learn signs for their home
towns.
Another feature of
NZSL Week is the Leaders challenge, which challenges community
leaders throughout the country who don’t know NZSL to learn and
sign a brief message to show their support for NZSL Week. New Zealand
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was one of the first leaders to take up
the challenge.

Here are some NZSL
Events going on this Week:

NZSL
Week Events:
Northland
NZSLW Events
Auckland
NZSLW Events
Waikato
NZSLW Events
Bay
of Plenty NZSLW Events
Taranaki
NZSLW Events
Hawkes
Bay NZSLW Events
Manawatu
NZSLW Events
Wellington
NZSLW Events
Nelson
NZSLW Events
Canterbury
NZSLW Events
Otago
and Southland NZSLW Events
Resources, including flyers and booklets for NZSL Week can be found here: http://deaf.org.nz/nzslw-resources


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