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Deaf Leaders Develop Community Goals

Deaf Association of New Zealand
27 November 2006
Media release

Deaf Leaders Develop Community Goals

Deaf leaders from Deaf Societies, Community Group Service Providers and the Executive Board of the Deaf Association of NZ met to develop shared community goals for Deaf people throughout New Zealand. With 36 participants from as far north as Whangarei and as far south as Oamaru gathering in Palmerston North, the discussion focused on current issues for Deaf people nationally.

The stage was set by Hon Ruth Dyson who was very positive about the Community, with special mention of the passing of the New Zealand Sign Language Act earlier this year. It is important for the government and the community to continue to work together actively to ensure that the implementation of the Act is carried through positively.

Through an interactive process by a Deaf facilitator, participants in the group were encouraged to raise the issues faced by the Deaf community. They were then challenged to use these issues to develop positive goals covering a range of topics including employment, telecommunications, Interpreting services, and services to Maori Deaf, amongst others.

Three consistent themes identified across all the goals were:

* Deaf Access
Increasing access to information and services throughout New Zealand

* Deaf Awareness
Increasing people’s awareness of Deaf people

* Deaf Advancement
Raise the profile, develop leadership and promote self determination within the Deaf community

At the conclusion of the workshop participants were very keen to meet again at regular intervals to discuss progress and to monitor the goals. Participants particularly valued the opportunity to network as a community with high level discussions. Grateful thanks are extended to our sponsors Deaf Decade Trust and New Zealand Relay (who also gave a presentation) for enabling the community members to meet.


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