September 23, 2022
Sign Language Day call for trilingual interpreters
It’s International Day of Sign Languages, and of Deaf Aotearoa is calling for Government to support and protect the linguistic identity and cultural diversity of all Deaf people and other sign language users.
Chief executive Lachlan Keating says in recent years, the profile of New Zealand Sign Language has been raised significantly, from the daily COVID-19 media briefings with interpreters alongside the Prime Minister, to the mosque shooting, Whakaaro/White Island eruption and the Kaikoura Earthquakes.
But he says the Government needs to heed the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which has recommended it increase funding for the training and employment of sign language interpreters, including trilingual interpreters who can interpret between NZSL, English and Te Reo Māori.
The committee was also concerned about the lack of government information available in New Zealand Sign Language.