New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) is recognised as an official language of New Zealand through the New Zealand Sign Language Act 2006. For this reason, NZSL has special mention in The New Zealand Curriculum (2007).
NZSL is used by members of New Zealand’s Deaf community and those linked with this community, for example, hearing people who have Deaf relatives or interpreters who work with Deaf people.
Thumbs Up! An Introduction to New Zealand Sign Language has been produced to support the teaching and learning of NZSL as an additional language in English-medium schools for students in years 7–8 working at curriculum levels 1 and 2.
The resource helps students and teachers to express themselves in a new language and communicate with their Deaf peers.
As Deaf people come to have more people to communicate with, our society becomes more inclusive.