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Hope That NZSL Inquiry's Recommendations Will Be Implemented

Hope That NZSL Inquiry’s Recommendations Will Be Implemented Swiftly

Deaf Aotearoa applauds the findings from the Human Rights Commission’s Inquiry into the use and promotion of New Zealand Sign Language “A New Era in the Right to Sign: Report of the New Zealand Sign Language Inquiry”.

Deaf Aotearoa worked closely with the Human Rights Commission to provide insight into the report, launched yesterday at Parliament by Minister for Disability Issues Tariana Turia.

Deaf Aotearoa’s Chief Executive Lachlan Keating says recommendations from the 12 month-long inquiry include the need for better coordination and communication between key agencies, District Health Boards and the Office for Disability Issues.

“When implemented, the 15 major recommendations from the inquiry will ensure the use, development and maintenance of NZSL within key agencies to make certain that Deaf New Zealanders have equal access to those services that can significantly impact on their quality of life,” he says.

“We are particularly pleased with the proactive approach taken by the Ministry of Education prior to the launch of the report through the establishment of the NZSL Sector Advisory Group. For too long Deaf students have been denied the access to education which has lead to lower literacy levels, a lack of awareness about themselves and the world, resulting in reduced levels of employment within the Deaf community.”

A key recommendation is the creation of an Expert Advisory Group on NZSL, the members of which are to be confirmed this week, and ultimately an NZSL Statutory Board to champion the value, use, promotion and maintenance of NZSL.

However, Mr Keating says that while acknowledging positive steps, there is still much work to be done in areas that have seen little focus on NZSL.

“We are hopeful that the launch of this report will signal strongly to all ministries that they each have a responsibility to promote the use of sign language within their particular area,” says Mr Keating.


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