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Who we are

We are New Zealand’s provider of education services for Deaf and hard of hearing (DHH) children. We have a large team of over 300 specialist staff across New Zealand with specialist school provisions in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

We are a tri-lingual, tri-cultural organisation. With both Deaf and hearing staff, New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) and English are used on a communication continuum throughout, from administration to the classroom.

We also reflect the importance of Māori culture and Te Reo Māori by being culturally responsive, celebrating diversity and respecting the preferred learning styles and needs of all our students.

Boy with hearing aids smiling

How we help you

Our journey with families begins at pre-school age and goes until the child finishes school, which can be anywhere up to age 21. Ultimately, we are here to help people understand their different options with regards to the different places and ways a child can learn, and we continue to support whatever choices are made along the way. And they are real choices; we are an impartial organisation because we firmly believe every child learns differently and will have their own individual needs.

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Our purpose

For all children, their school years are an important time of discovery and development. We're here to ensure having a different hearing level is not a barrier to this. All children have the right to enrol at school and take part in the New Zealand curriculum regardless of their needs. We make that possible, whether it be at their local school or our specialist schools in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

Girl on beach with flag

Our values

We also believe success goes beyond learning; it's about living. We work to provide students with an environment where they can Belong, Grow, Choose and Excel. We're here to support and help them access the resources and services they need to be happy and engaged learners, to have opportunities to be their best and become confident leaders of their own lives.

Our history

New Zealand and has seen enormous changes in Deaf Education; since its inception in 1880 to a new direction in 2020 with the merging of Kelston and Van Asch Deaf Education Centres to become one national organisation — Ko Taku Reo. Follow the Deaf Education journey through time in our museum.

More on our history