New Zealand: Right to Sign - Sign Language Week Kicks Off May 5

Harold Schiffman haroldfs at
Sun May 4 20:19:44 UTC 2008

Forwarded From: edling at

Scoop Independent News

Right to Sign - Sign Language Week Kicks Off May 5

"The Freedom to Sign is Our Freedom of Expression" is the slogan for the
second annual New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) week, which kicks off May 5
with events around the country. National Coordinator of NZSL Week Angela
Lindsay says, "This year, the purpose is to raise public awareness that NZSL
also gives Deaf people a voice." The right to use New Zealand Sign Language
(NZSL) is now recognised by the New Zealand government and the United
Nations, but a shortage of interpreters could mean deaf people cannot
exercise that right.

Currently there is a shortage of NZSL interpreters and Auckland University
of Technology (AUT) is the only tertiary institute that offers a Diploma in
Sign Language Interpreting. Its five to eight graduating interpreters are
not enough to serve the 7,000 people who are Deaf and who use NZSL.

Full story:


Harold F. Schiffman

Professor Emeritus of
Dravidian Linguistics and Culture
Dept. of South Asia Studies
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305

Phone: (215) 898-7475
Fax: (215) 573-2138

Email: haroldfs at

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