NZSL Act Review 2011 - What did the review recommend?

After thinking about what people had said in the review, the Minister for Disability Issues decided no change to the NZSL Act was needed. This is because the things people wanted, like more promotion of NZSL or improved access to interpreters in the wider justice system or more NZSL in broadcasting, can happen without changes to the NZSL Act.

So, the review suggests nine things that could be done to make the NZSL Act work better:

  1. Ministers could promote the use of NZSL by signing a greeting at the start of speeches, in a similar way to how Māori greetings are used
  2. Ministers in charge of Crown entities that provide services could remind them that they should not discriminate or treat people badly just because they can’t hear
  3. government departments should make sure they use NZSL in public events they organise
  4. government departments should have more information in NZSL on services they provide
  5. government departments should know when they need to use a NZSL interpreter and how to get them
  6. government departments that provide services should make sure their staff are trained in how to communicate with Deaf people, and when and how to use NZSL interpreters
  7. government departments should tell the Office for Disability Issues each year how many meetings with Deaf people they had and whether NZSL interpreters were used
  8. the Ministry of Justice should increase the training of court staff so that Deaf people find it easier to use NZSL in courts
  9. the Ministry of Social Development and the Ministry of Economic Development will work on how a video remote interpreting service for government departments could be set up, as a way to cope with the shortage of NZSL interpreters.

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