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Three accolades for NZ’s work supporting Deaf people


Deaf Aotearoa received three accolades at the World Federation of the Deaf General Assembly held in Paris on Sunday 21st and Monday 22nd July, recognising its work promoting Deaf rights and New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL).

Deaf Aotearoa is honoured to have been awarded the Vittorio Ieralla Memorial Award. This award is given to a national Deaf association that has made an outstanding contribution to the World Federation of the Deaf over the last four years. This award is in recognition of Deaf Aotearoa’s achievements in promoting the human and linguistic rights of Deaf people and raising awareness of New Zealand Sign Language.

General Manager-Strategy, Victoria Manning, was successfully elected to the World Federation of the Deaf Board 2019 – 2023. She was the second highest voted candidate, gaining 80 votes from the 88 voting countries. Deaf Aotearoa nominated Victoria as a highly-regarded leader and is the first New Zealander to serve on the WFD Board. Victoria was also the inaugural chairperson of the New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) Board.

Mark Berry, former Deaf Aotearoa Executive Board member, was re-elected as president of the World Federation of the Deaf Youth Section.

“This is a momentous occasion for us”, says Deaf Aotearoa President, Oliver Ferguson, one of New Zealand’s delegates at the General Assembly. “Deaf Aotearoa works hard to support Deaf people and promote sign language rights in New Zealand. New Zealand’s recognition on the international stage is hugely gratifying", he continues. “I’m very proud of Deaf Aotearoa. This is a time to celebrate and take stock of all our achievements and strengths.”

Deaf Aotearoa also made a strong bid to host the next World Federation of the Deaf World Congress in 2023 with our Government’s support. While New Zealand’s bid was recognised by the WFD’s site inspection team as the strongest of the four bids submitted, South Korea was successfully voted by the General Assembly as the host of the next Congress. Deaf Aotearoa extends its congratulations to the Korean Association of the Deaf and looks forward to joining them in Jeju, South Korea, in four years’ time.

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