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Pitopito kōrero

Deaf Culture

05 Oct 2023

Written by students JB, Abigail and Kyra from Ormiston Junior College Provision

As part of our TAiP inquiry project we decided we wanted to share some things about Deaf culture.

As young Deaf adults New Zealand Sign Language is our language. Sign language is a visual language which uses our hands and facial expressions. We wanted to share our language with the students and teachers at Ormiston Junior College.

Sign language is one of the two national languages of New Zealand along with te Reo Māori.

We chose to sign the National Anthem with everyone.

We designed t-shirts to celebrate and promote our Deaf Culture.

On the front of the t-shirt, we have a drawing of hands because they are very important when signing. We put the letters NZSL below the hands to remind people that we were using sign language.

On the back of our t-shirs we had a drawing of New Zealand because we are proud Deaf New Zealanders. We had to be very careful with the map as the outline was very fine. We added the words Ko Taku Reo because that is our school.

Ko Taku Reo is for Deaf learners. We have teachers, interpreters and other support staff who help us to learn.

At the Cultural Expo, we performed the National Anthem in NZSL to the audience. There were lots of people watching us, but that was okay because we were confident and brave.

We wrote a script to introduce ourselves and tell everyone about Deaf Culture. We asked the audience to sign along with us. They all joined in.

If people who are Deaf share their culture with other non-deaf people, it helps them understand our world. It is also a good idea to give them some simple signs to say hello.

Lots of the teachers in Ormiston Junior College told us we had done a fantastic job.

We felt proud of ourselves because we were brave.

We want to thank Rita and Kimberley for all their help. Thanks to Subash from Ormiston Junior College for teaching us to use the printing machine to make the T-shirts.