Sunday, May 4, 2008

New Zealand Kicks Off National Sign Language Week

Today kicks off national sign language week in New Zealand. There are nearly 25,000 individuals who use New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL), making it the 12th most commonly used language in its country of origin.

As is the case with most sign languages around the world, there is a shortage of NZSL interpreters. Auckland University of Technology offers a Diploma in Sign Language Interpreting, but its five to eight graduating interpreters are not enough to serve the 7,000 Deaf individuals who require assistance.

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