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International Week of the Deaf


Tuesday 22 September, 2015

Auckland Museum And Auckland Deaf Society Collaborate to Mark the International Week of the Deaf

Auckland War Memorial Museum is proud to collaborate with the Auckland Deaf Society to mark the International Week of the Deaf. Over two separate days a series of programmes will be held in ‘The Studio’ space of the Museum’s current major exhibition, Taku Tāmaki – Auckland Stories. All visitors are welcome to get involved and can also experience the exhibition itself in New Zealand Sign Language thanks to a partnership with Deafradio.

“Auckland Museum is committed to enabling everyone to have access to our world-class collections and their stories”, says Museum Director Roy Clare. “We are incredibly proud to work with our community on these initiatives. These are wonderfully appropriate and very timely steps in our sustained delivery of increased accessibility.”

On Wednesday 23 September members of the Auckland Deaf Society will present a programme which will include short sign language classes, films which look at the history of Auckland’s Deaf community through young eyes, an interpreted tour of Taku Tāmaki - Auckland Stories, and also the ability for people to record their own stories in NZSL. Then on Tuesday 6 October a school holiday programme will include activities, storytelling sessions and short sign language classes.

“Being part of Auckland Stories is a wonderful opportunity for the Deaf community” says John Schischka, president of Auckland Deaf Society. “The Society was formed way back in 1937, so we have lots of great stories to share as part of the history of Auckland, and by recording people’s thoughts and stories we can also focus on what we want to achieve in the future”.

Thanks to a partnership with Deafradio, Taku Tāmaki - Auckland Stories is available to be explored in New Zealand Sign Language. A deaf-run creative hub, Deafradio, has provided their expertise to deliver an innovative opportunity for increased accessibility. Visitors can use their smart devices to scan a series of QR codes which gives them access to the exhibition content in NZSL.

“Deafradio are proud to partner with Auckland Museum,” says Deafradio General Manager Dan Hanks. “We believe the access available to Deaf visitors in Taku Tāmaki - Auckland Stories is the most complete NZSL provision yet seen in New Zealand. We hope that other institutions take note that such access is now readily available and ensure similar accessibility for their Deaf visitors and others who do not read English.”

Taku Tāmaki - Auckland Stories, which opened in May 2015, shares some of the stories that make up the city of Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. Over 120,000 visitors have explored and contributed to the exhibition thus far. These responses have helped to shape the exhibition and also inform the Museum on some of the stories and features that visitors want to see in future. Taku Tāmaki - Auckland Stories closes on Sunday 18 October.

For programme and exhibition information, please visit:

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