2023 NZSL Fund Recipients Announced

The New Zealand Sign Language Board have released funding for strategic projects to help maintain and promote NZSL. 

Six organisations have been successful in receiving a total of $1,781,100.25 funding from the NZSL Board. The projects range from one-off funding and contracts between one and three years.   

These initiativeare designed to help NZSL thrive in local communities and nationally by supporting activities that maintain or promote NZSLThe funding this year is spread between the following organisations: 

Deaf Aotearoa – Promoting NZSL Across the Country - $660,000 over three years

Deaf Aotearoa will be promoting NZSL across the country for three years, from 2024 – 2026, by engaging with hearing and Deaf communities.  This contract is being funded by the NZSL Board.

They will be running 7 Minutes of Signing challenges, media training, bi-monthly podcasts, focusing on engaging via social media influencers and content creators, to ensure a broad reach across the motu.

In accordance with the NZSL strategy, the Board requires that the promotional campaign (including any resources) is fully accessible to all and includes Māori concepts in NZSL.

Deaf Aotearoa will continue to work with their networks, while creating new ones, to include NZSL and Deaf Culture in annual events.  They will be working with Turi Māori and Pasifika Deaf to create booklets incorporating Māori and Pasifika concepts.

Deaf Aotearoa will continue to promote NZSL Week across the country to ‘increase awareness and understanding of NZSL’ and ‘to empower and strengthen the Deaf community’.

The NZSL Online Dictionary - $870,000.25 over three years:  

The Research Trust of
Victoria University of Wellington (The Deaf Studies Research Unit)
has been contracted for a total of $601,013.00 over three years (2023-2026) for ongoing development of the dictionary’s functionality, and its vocabulary in English and Te Reo Māori. 

The Deaf Studies Research Unit
based at Victoria University of Wellington will expand the online NZSL dictionary with the addition of 300 signs for NZSL learners.  

NZ Limited
have been contracted for $268,987.25 over three years (2023-2026) to host and maintain the web application.  

Ackama has worked successfully with The Research Trust of Victoria University of Wellington to develop different web platforms specifically for NZSL use. Together they are to maintain the NZSL Online Dictionary to promote NZSL learning for all New Zealanders. 

World Federation of the Deaf Youth Section Camp
- $6,000 (a one-off payment)

In July 2023, The New Zealand Sign Language Board supported four youths to attend the World Federation of the Deaf Youth Section Camp in Jeju, South Korea.   

The youths represented New Zealand Deaf youth on a world stage. The main aim of the World Federation of the Deaf Youth Section (WFDYS) is to advocate for the human rights of Deaf youth globally 

This was an amazing opportunity for the youths to learn, share and connect with other Deaf people from around the world. 

New Zealand Sign Language Teachers Association 

The New Zealand Sign language Teachers Association (NZSLTA) received a grant and funding for the following purposes: 

To s
trengthen NZSLTA’s infrastructure and leadership capabilities - $160,000 (2023-2025 – two years)

This funding will support NZSLTA’s infrastructure development and leadership capability to deliver quality NZSL teaching and learning across New Zealand. This funding covers staff who manage NZSLTA’s operations and those who provide secretariat support and strategic planning for the NZSLTA Executive Committee.  

meetings and website cost - $50,100 (2023-2026 - three years)

This grant supports NZSLTA to maintain the TeachSign website, update the Registration Advisory Panel certification process for NZSL Tutors and covers in-person Executive Committee meetings.  

Merge New Zealand -
Professional Learning Development - $35,000 (one year)

This funding is for Merge NZ to deliver NZSL Professional Learning Development workshops for advanced, Level 2 and above, NZSL Tutors nationwide. Merge NZ will deliver workshops to NZSL Tutors in three different locations covering suitable teaching pedagogies for Level 2 and Level 3 NZSL learners. 

For information on the NZSL Fund see our questions and answers.

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