Sign Language projects receive $1m

NEW ZEALAND: Disability Issues Minister Nicky Wagner today congratulated 24 successful applicants who received just over $1 million worth of grants from the New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) Fund.

“I am thrilled to see such a wide range of projects that will support, promote and maintain New Zealand Sign Language across the country.

“Children with disabilities and their whānau in particular will be able to benefit from many of the opportunities this year’s projects will create.

“Successful projects include the development of a youth mentorship programme, a series of NZSL Immersion Courses in Otago where there is very limited access to NZSL for families with children with disabilities and a national conference for families with deaf children.

“Promoting New Zealand Sign Language in the home is a priority area for the government and will ensure the transfer of Deaf culture and sign language to the next generation.

“The NZSL Fund will also support the development of a nationally recognised adult NZSL Assessment Tool which will provide us with a system with which to confirm the level of NZSL proficiency.

“The assessment tool is important because it will enable staff who work with NZSL users to have an appropriate, measurable level of proficiency.

“In addition to $750,000 going to community projects, the NZSL Fund also contributed $295,000 to support NZSL Week 2016.

“It is a special time this year as we celebrate the ten year anniversary of NZSL becoming an official language during NZSL Week in mid-May. I look forward to being a part of the celebrations,” Ms Wagner says.

For a list of the successful recipients: www.odi.govt.nz/nzsl-fund

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