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Family Whanau Sign Language Facilitation Service Welcomed

New Family Whanau Sign Language Facilitation Service Welcomed by Human Rights Commission

Today’s launch of a new Government service to support deaf children and their families and whānau has been welcomed by the Human Rights Commission.

“Acquiring language skills early in life is crucial however there have been limited opportunities for whānau to learn New Zealand Sign Language along with their deaf children,” says Disability Rights Commissioner Paul Gibson.

“The Family Whānau Sign Language Facilitator service will mean deaf children and their families will be supported to learn how to communicate with one another. This is a major development towards realising the rights of deaf children.”
Mr Gibson congratulated Ministers Turia and Parata for this innovative and very much needed service.

“The Family Whānau Sign Language Facilitation Service complements this year’s budget announcement to promote and sustain NZSL,” said Mr Gibson.

“These initiatives mean that hopefully we can look forward to a day in the future where at bedtime, once the hearing aids and cochlear implants have been taken off, any mother or father can say ‘Goodnight, I love you’ in NZSL to their small deaf child.”

Both these new initiatives were identified as priorities in the Human Rights Commission’s inquiry into New Zealand Sign Language, A New Era in the Right to Sign, He Houhanga Rongo te Tika Ki Te Reo Turi.


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