How is the Government’s investment in the New Zealand Sign Language Fund helping sign language users to promote and maintain the language during Sign Language Week?
Stuart Smith to the Minister for Disability Issues: How is the Government’s investment in the New Zealand Sign Language Fund helping sign language users to promote and maintain the language during Sign Language Week?
Hon NICKY WAGNER (Minister for Disability Issues): Sign Language Week is a chance to celebrate one of New Zealand’s official languages. It is a language that is spoken by over 20,000 Kiwis every day. The Government has invested $350,000 to raise awareness about this unique language during Sign Language Week 2015 and provide all New Zealanders with an opportunity to get involved and connect with the Deaf community.
This is in addition to the $11 million the Government has invested over 4 years to support deaf children and their families by helping school-aged and preschool children learn sign language and provide more sign language support and tutors in schools.
Stuart Smith: How can New Zealanders take part in New Zealand Sign Language Week?
Hon NICKY WAGNER: Hundreds of events are taking place across New Zealand this week. There are tours of galleries and museums with sign language interpreters, comedy shows, pop-up sign language cafes, and over 745 New Zealand Sign Language taster classes being available.
Raising awareness of sign language helps the Deaf community and other users of the language to connect with all New Zealanders. I encourage us Kiwis to get out and give it a go. Happy Sign Language Week.