While our leaders thrash it out with Sir Malcolm Bruce at Westminster, in New Zealand their Human Rights Commission has released a report about New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) and how they ought to set up a body (very similar to the British idea being discussed today) to promote the rights of users of sign language over there.
The Inquiry report contains 15 major recommendations that suggest ways to take down the barriers for deaf people and other NZSL users, including increasing NZSL resourcing in early childhood and schools, and prioritising training in disability awareness, deaf culture and NZSL for health care early intervention staff.
Another key recommendation is the creation of an Expert Advisory Group on NZSL and ultimately an NZSL Statutory Board to champion the value, use, promotion and maintenance of NZSL alongside New Zealand’s other official languages. Crucially, here in the UK it isn’t just going to be about sign language.
Who will get there first?
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