Every May, Deaf Aotearoa organises New Zealand Sign Language Week, a celebration of one of the country’s official languages.

New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) Week is a chance for the Deaf community to stand proud as Deaf, and to celebrate their language and culture. It also works to break down barriers, fears and misconceptions. NZSL Week lets Deaf New Zealanders put their hands up and be seen!

Our vision for NZSL Week is to increase awareness and understanding of NZSL and the Deaf community and to empower and strengthen the Deaf community.

NZSL became an official language in 2006. This was after many years of lobbying from the Deaf community, supported by an MP, Ruth Dyson who was a champion for the community’s efforts. In 2007 we had our first NZSL Week.

Check out our resources to have a go at learning some NZSL. We will have a national campaign throughout New Zealand for New Zealanders to give NZSL a go, come together with the Deaf community, and celebrate our beautiful language – NZSL!