Round 4 recipients

The theme for Round Four was “NZSL in our hands: Our language, our taonga, our identity, our past, our future”. Thirteen NZSL projects in the fourth funding round have been approved to receive a total of $441,338.75.

Below is the complete list of successful recipients, a description of the project and the total funding received:

  • Watch Us Hui. The creation of ‘Watch Us’ spaces for Deaf people to come together to share unseen stories as Deaf people. The hui will be delivered by a Deaf NZSL user and co-led with a local community member to build the capacity of the local community in leading local Deaf spaces, Deaf Action New Zealand, $12,045.

  • NZSL Recipes presented online. The provision on online cooking/recipes in NZSL as a national resource for all NZSL users. Deaf Wellbeing Society, $43,680.

  • Canterbury Kids NZSL Choir. Establishing a NZSL Choir for Deaf children and children of Deaf parents to support the learning NZSL in Canterbury, Canterbury Parents for Deaf Children, $13,586.25.

  • 5th National Deaf Youth Camp. A national youth camp for 16 to 25 year old Deaf youth in South Canterbury during April 2019. Canterbury Deaf Youth Group, $47,120. 

  • NZSL Hub for 2019 New Zealand Deaf Games. Provide a family-friendly, centralised space during the Games in Wellington January 2019 with an art exhibition by Deaf artists, Deaf sports history, and marketplace for Deaf and NZSL users. Deaf Sports New Zealand, $20,000.

  • Nga Rangatahi Turi Maori o Aotearoa. Deaf Māori youth hui designed to empower Māori rangatahi (young people) who identify as Deaf or hearing impaired, to communicate with others so that schools, communities or their local marae might have a better understanding of their access needs. Auckland Deaf Society, $57,877.50.

  • Deaf Children New Zealand Children Family Camp. A family camp for parents and Deaf children aged 7 to 12 years, packed full of NZSL learning opportunities both formally and informally, in collaboration with Deaf community members, and NZSL tutors. Deaf Children New Zealand, $40,000.

  • NZSL in the Otago region. Increase NZSL skills and Deaf identity of Otago Deaf people especially young Deaf through the provision of NZSL tutoring, Otago Association for Deaf Children, $15,600.

  • NZSL Online Dictionary Improvements. Technical changes to NZSL Online Dictionary to improve usability following the 2017 user evaluation study that identified features to improve the user experience. Victoria University of Wellington, $71,070.

  • NZSL Te Papa Pathways. A project to enable Deaf people to enjoy access to digital stories and smartphone tours in NZSL, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, $46,500.

  • Capturing Sign Stories on Film. A project to examine how conventions of NZSL can be re-purposed for effective storytelling for the stage and screen. University of Waikato, $13,500.

  • High School Camp for Deaf & Hard of Hearing 2019. High School Summer Camp for Deaf and hard of hearing students in Otaki, late January 2019. Combined Board of Kelston Deaf Education Centre and van Asch Deaf Education Centre, $30,000 (with a further $8,148.80 remaining from the 2018 camp to be allocated towards this project).

  • Deaf Mental Health and Wellbeing Group. Create a place where Deaf people struggling with mental health and isolation, or who want to improve their wellbeing, can come together. The aim of the group is ‘mental wellbeing by connecting with others’ through activities. Capital Coast District Health Board, $30,360.

Other allocations

The NZSL funding has also been allocated to activities designed to support the NZSL Board’s planning objectives. These include:

Assessing deaf children’s NZSL development. To ensure that deaf children, aged 3 to 11 years old, are acquiring NZSL at age-appropriate levels, the NZSL Board allocated $37,049.99 for a national training programme in the use of the newly developed, standardised NZSL student assessment tool. The training sessions were attended by approximately 30 NZSL Tutors, Teachers of the Deaf, Advisors of Deaf Children, Speech-Language Therapists, and First Signs facilitators. Six trainers from van Asch and Kelston were selected and trained to provide the training course, with an expert brought in from England.

This followed up on an $80,000 contract with the Deaf Education Centres in 2016 to develop the NZSL student assessment tool. Training was provided in Auckland and Christchurch February 2018, a consultation day with the new trainers in March 2018 and post-training follow-up with all NZSL assessment new testers

Adapting Teach Sign Level One for Te Reo Māori settings. It was identified in August 2017 that there was a need for the TeachSign curriculum to be adapted for Te Reo Māori settings to help NZSL tutors teach and connect with learners in these settings. The NZSL Board has commissioned $8,415 towards the adaption of Units 1-3. Further funding will be allocated towards training for NZSL tutors on culturally responsive ways to use the new resource. Further consideration for adaptations to the remaining units in Level 1 will be undertaken once both projects are completed. Further information at: Adapting Teach Sign for Te Reo Māori settings external

NZSL Week 2018. The NZSL Board has also contributed $300,000 towards this year’s NZSL Week to support the promotion of NZSL Week including a TV commercial, biennial NZSL Awards, the provision of NZSL Taster Classes and other NZSL activities across New Zealand. 

FYD (Friends of Young Deaf) Leadership Programme. The NZSL Board committed to supporting the FYD Leadership Programme, led by Auckland Deaf Society. The project included a series of leadership weekends that will invest in young Deaf people to become competent leaders in their communities, $79,536.50 (Phase 1: $38,630; Phase 2: $40,906.50).

Read or download the Friends of Young Deaf Leadership Programme's Final Report (PDF 1.7 MB) [PDF, 11 MB] (PDF 1.7 MB)

The NZSL Board is supporting a National Deaf Club National Forum, with 13 New Zealand Deaf Clubs, vital Deaf spaces, invited to participate with the goal to support them to identify, share issues and solutions to become stronger and sustainable with improved linkages. A total of $124,432.25 has been allocated to this project.

Next steps of the NZSL Interpreter Standards System project. A wide range of institutional users of NZSL interpreters and the Deaf community have been, and will be, invited to give feedback on the next steps towards developing a national NZSL Interpreter Registration System ($23,039). This work follows up on two studies commissioned by the NZSL Board, ‘A Review of New Zealand Interpreting Standards’ by Fitzgerald and Associates, supported by the Sign Language Interpreting Association of New Zealand ($50,000), and a feasibility study ($29,000) which described an interpreter standards regulation system in detail to enable the NZSL Board to make a decision on how to proceed with the establishment of a national interpreter standards system.

More information here:

The NZSL Board is supporting a range of projects to strengthen the association and support provided for NZSL tutors and assessors. A work programme covering the 2017/18 and 2018/19 financial years has been agreed by the NZSL Board, focusing on curriculum and resources, professional development, the NZSL teaching system, and the infrastructure within the association.

Initial projects, totalling $64,271 cover

  1. the maintenance of New Zealand Sign Language Teachers Association (NZSLTA) as a viable organisation
  2. the restructure and refresh of the TeachSign website
  3. the development of an implementation plan to update the Registration Advisory Panel system, with costs and plans being provided to the NZSL Board by end of 2018.

The NZSL Board has also committed $50,000 towards the delivery of a NZSL Teachers & Assessors Hui to work towards a professional development plan. This hui will take place in the second half of 2018, with a date to be confirmed by July 2018.

Work is currently proceeding on the development of a Level Two curriculum to support adult NZSL learners across New Zealand. The Level Two learning outcome framework has recently wrapped up ($53,153). The development of materials for the Level Two curriculum, a multi-year project, will commence soon. Further details will be announced June 2018. 

The Deaf Studies Unit of Victoria University of Wellington has been allocated $74,645 to support the technical maintenance of the Online NZSL Dictionary, covering a part-time database manager, programming support including software and website maintenance and other miscellaneous costs.

Additional funding has also been allocated to the Office for Disability Issues for additional staff members to progress NZSL Board work.