This week is New Zealand Sign Language Week (NZSL).
NZSL Week helps promote the language and aims to raise awareness about New Zealand’s Deaf community.
The focus of this year’s New Zealand Sign Language Week is a word that’s lately taken on new importance: “essential”.
NZSL is an official language of New Zealand and is used daily by more than 20,000 Kiwis. Rather than simply being a signed representation of spoken English, NZSL is a separate language, with its own structure and grammar.
NZSL became an official language of New Zealand in 2006 when the NZSL Act was passed into law, and the next year in 2006, Deaf Aotearoa organized the first NZSL Week, making this 16th year celebrating NZSL Week.
For more information check out the official NZ Sign Language website.