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It Feels Kinda Half Baked.

Written By: - Date published: 11:06 am, May 13th, 2016 - 26 comments
Categories: discrimination, equality - Tags: , , , , , ,

Ironically the title is a very hearing idiom to use when I want to talk about an issue for the Deaf.

It’s that time of year, we get to recognise the 20,000 odd Kiwis who can’t hear, it’s New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) week. Yes, it started on Monday and runs till Sunday the 15th of May.

Hard to believe it was 10 years ago, Aotearoa/New Zealand got another official language. Hard to believe it was 5 years ago Mojo Mathers had a hell of a fight to just participate in the parliament she was elected to.

Now we celebrate 10 years and it’s great, except it really feels – Kinda half baked. You see for a large group of people in our society English is a second language, New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) is their first. The language was made an official language because people understood, that NZSL is the first language for very many people. These are people who have jobs, kids, pay taxes, own cars, do shopping and are a part of our community – who have a whole different language which is their first, and in many cases, their only form of communication. It is great we recognise NZSL as a language. BUT.

Where is NZSL on the news, or anywhere on TV? Even though the presence of interpreters is fairly scant in the US, they are light years ahead of NZ and at least some popular pressure is being applied to have sign language a mandatory feature in local and national news programmes.

Some good news.This week we will be having interpreters for question time in parliament. As we did last year. So for one week, we get to be modern, and have for the 20,000 odd Deaf kiwi’s, the ability to understand what parliament actually does in question time.

Last year we had Ron Mark prove how good it was to have interpreters in the house.

My hope is, rather than just a token one week a year gig, we start to expand the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) – not only into all the question times, but far beyond, so that NZ becomes an inclusive society.

Is anyone listening?

Adam

26 comments on “It Feels Kinda Half Baked. ”

  1. adam 1

    Some more good news for Deaf.

    View post on imgur.com

  2. shorts 2

    ideally every question time and news segment (filmed) would include sign and te reo maori captions

    not going to happen without govt stepping up though

  3. Ta adam – good call.

    I’d like there to be some signing on say the news, perhaps even a campaign to get people to learn a sign a week/day or something.

  4. lprent 4

    Good post. I know my hearing is getting worse as I get older. I now know one of the reasons that grandparents are so tolerant of small children. They can’t hear those high pitched tones.

    I also find I am using my hands more to communicate. It isn’t much to get an interpreter in. Parliament should just do it. Especially to get interpretation on the silenced bits.

    And if anyone didn’t catch the video of Ron Mark, they should. I suspect that anyone will be able to understand the translation.

    • adam 4.1

      Thanks Iprent, yeah the Ron Mark video is priceless.

      Ironically, he is a supporter of keeping interpreters in parliament question time, on a full time basis – which I think is great.

      I think with NZ First having a older supporter base, has meant they have had reasonably sound policy towards issues like this.

      • lprent 4.1.1

        I was actually moderately impressed with Ron Mark as a person when I met him at a NZF conference a few years ago. Ditto with his daughter as well.

        Something that for me doesn’t usually happen with political people.

        • adam 4.1.1.1

          He helped out a family friend in Christchurch many years ago, and I found him to be exceptional nice bloke, and understand. His support and advise gave genuine help to the family, and something better, hope.

          A very good constituent MP, I’d put him in the same class as Helen Clark, Wayne Mapp, and David Cunliffe in that regard.

    • mac1 4.2

      I mentioned this on another thread, but the sign language for John Key’s dismissal by the Speaker was also universal- a go away motion followed by two fingers going walkies. Ron Mark’s sign might also have applied in this case.

    • Lanthanide 4.3

      “Especially to get interpretation on the silenced bits.”

      Which may be a reason why the Speaker is resistent to it. The bits are silenced for a reason.

  5. Richardrawshark 5

    Mum’s hearings not so good and she uses the subtitles a lot, I do too now they are great when you can’t quite hear something. Most programs except live have subtitles I think signs on live events would be awesome too and should be a priority.

  6. Blackcap 6

    Interesting what ppl are saying. Its nice to be all inclusive but who is going to pay for it? I was recently at a wedding where three of my cousins who are deaf also attended. One of them receives 30 hours of translation services a year from the govt, But the wedding used up about 8 of this. I spoke to the interpreter as well…. they are on good coin and so if we were to provide interpreters for everything it would cost a packet. Another problem the interpreter stated was that there just are not enough deaf interpreters to go around for the demand that there is. That seems to be the crux of the issue as far as she was concerned. But it is a growing industry and good to see more avenues for those that are deaf or hearing impaired.
    (just to clarify, the above example was not in NZ but an overseas country)

    • b waghorn 6.1

      You would think that some one could come up with a voice recognition interpreter as a pH app in this day and age

    • One Anonymous Bloke 6.2

      who is going to pay for it?

      Nah. Before you can make that stick, you have to establish that the benefits won’t outweigh the costs. Good luck with that.

      I note that deaf people are not the only ones who pay tax.

    • Almost Deaf 6.3

      The availability of sign interpreters is appalling and from what I know there is little regard for it at management levels.

      I was doing a signing course at the Deaf Institute in Auckland. One of the other students was a policeman, the child of two deaf parents. Several times a week he gets called to an emergency because the AKL police do not employ any signers. Nor does St. Johns, the Fire Service, hospitals, etc. Nor do the courts! Deaf people can get very angry when they are not understood. Then they go to jail because they did not have an adequate court room interpreter!

      For this policeman, this course was to update his vocabulary. Signing vocabulary changes so rapidly that teachers at Kelston School for the Deaf often can’t read the latest slang expressions the kids use when they sign to each other.

      The police did NOT pay his fees! Course fees came out of his own pocket!

      Do NOT spend money on signers for parliament and TV shows. ASK the DEAF Community what the best use of extra funds would be for THEM.

      Personally, I want emergency personal to have ready access to interpreters. But that costs money. Hearing people can’t learn it overnight.

      I know deaf people who have received dangerously incorrect medical treatment because medical staff were too busy to deal with their deafness. My own doctor has a rudimentary knowledge of sign. She says the first time a deaf patient comes to her and realizes she understands some sign, their face lights up like a child at Christmas.

      IMO what happens in Parliament is trivial compared to the day to day struggles of a deaf person living in hearing society.

      P.S. NZ sign is a beautiful, powerfully expressive language. “Little Red Riding Hood” is a riot in NZ sign. (Find it on YouTube and enjoy!)

      • While I absolutely support putting the money for interpretters where the deaf community most needs it, we should have enough resources to fund interpreters for the courts, for emergency callouts, AND for Parliament.

  7. kieron 7

    I do recall when i was younger (34 this june) that there was sign language on the news in germany (not on DW though)

  8. Almost Deaf 8

    But these days you can read the news online.

    Reading the news is a luxury (or maybe a trivial distraction) compared to the essential need to understand when you are in a critical health situation or the accused before the court.

    Do NOT take my word for it. ASK the deaf community what THEY need.

    Instead of top-down bureaucratic solutions, try democracy. You know, democracy, as in letting the people who are affected make the choices.

    • Karen 8.1

      You are absolutely right Almost Deaf re asking the deaf community what they need, but as a hearing person who has some awareness of the difficulties deaf people face I would agree with you that having access to interpreters in the health and justice areas is essential. This is certainly not happening currently.

      Basic sign language is not that difficult to learn and is actually quite a lot of fun. I did a course at AUT about 10 years ago and I see no reason why it shouldn’t be mandatory for those working in areas where they will be dealing with deaf people. It won’t reduce the need for more interpreters, but it would be helpful in some circumstances.

      • adam 8.1.1

        Great points Almost Deaf, and Karen.

        I agree Deaf should lead the conversation.

        But hearing people need to take some responsibility also.

      • Almost Deaf 8.1.2

        @ Karen

        I agree.

        But I wince when I read “mandatory.” I prefer incentives. For example, demonstrating a basic proficiency in sign could be considered an additional work qualification.

  9. Draco T Bastard 9

    Well, if it’s an official language then it should be compulsory taught at school starting in the first year. Along with being taught the other two official languages. Give it a few years and we won’t need interpreters.

    • Almost Deaf 9.1

      Draco – Interesting that they do teach a very limited introduction to sign language in primary schools now. Only very basic things like learning the alphabet.

      I think it’s probably useful because it creates awareness among the hearing.

      Unless/Until we can mechanize language translation, we will definitely need interpreters.

  10. Rosemary McDonald 10

    Great post adam.

    To those of us who frequent various disability forums, the NZSL interpreting team doing their thing off to one side is completely normal. I often watch them, rather that the actual speaker….which is rude, I know…but Sign is a truly expressive language.

    And they should have the Sign box for parliament TV ALL the time, I watch that rather than the speaker, or the Speaker.

    And the Sign box for the news on telly….what better way to pick up a few words?

    Sign should be as ‘normal’ as English or Maori.
    Haha!
    Even a friendly “kia ora” can go down like a cup of cold sick.

    We have a way to go.

    • adam 10.1

      Thanks Rosemary McDonald, yes a long way to go.

      Most interpreters are use to being looked at, so it ant to rude.

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    Shortly, the absolute state of Wayne Brown. But before that, something I wrote four years ago for the council’s own media machine. It was a day-in-the-life profile of their many and varied and quite possibly unnoticed vital services. We went all over Auckland in 48 hours for the story, the ...
    More than a fieldingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • 2023 More Reading: January (+ Old Phuul Update)
    Completed reads for January Lilith, by George MacDonald The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (poem), by Samuel Taylor Coleridge Christabel (poem), by Samuel Taylor Coleridge The Saga of Ragnar Lodbrok, by Anonymous The Lay of Kraka (poem), by Anonymous 1066 and All That, by W.C. Sellar and R.J. ...
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  • Is Britain doomed (again)?
    Pity the poor Brits.  They just can’t catch a break. After years of reporting of lying Boris Johnson, a change to a less colourful PM in Rishi Sunak has resulted in a smooth media pivot to an end-of-empire narrative.  The New York Times, no less, amplifies suggestions that Blighty ...
    Point of OrderBy xtrdnry
    5 days ago
  • After The Deluge.
    On that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened. And rain fell on the earth.Genesis 6:11-12THE TORRENTIAL DOWNPOURS that dumped a record-breaking amount of rain on Auckland this anniversary weekend will reoccur with ever-increasing frequency. The planet’s atmosphere is ...
    5 days ago
  • Minister of Education (who might be replaced later today) left it to his ministry to apologise for i...
    Buzz from the Beehive There has been plenty to keep the relevant Ministers busy in flood-stricken Auckland over the past day or two. But New Zealand, last time we looked, extends north of Auckland into Northland and south of the Bombay Hills all the way to the bottom of the ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    5 days ago
  • The other ‘big one’: How a megaflood could swamp California’s Central Valley
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Jeff Masters When early settlers came to the confluence of the Sacramento and American Rivers before the California Gold Rush, Indigenous people warned them that the Sacramento Valley could become an inland sea when great winter rains came. The storytellers described water filling the ...
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  • Tuesday's pick o' the links: Wayne Brown's WTF moment
    Wayne Brown managed a smile when meeting with Remuera residents, but he was grumpy about having to deal with “media drongos”. Photo: Lynn Grieveson/Getty ImagesTLDR: In my pick of the news links found in my rounds since 4am for paying subscribers below the paywall:Wayne Brown moans about the media and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Tuesday's pick o' the links: Wayne Brown's WTF moment
    Wayne Brown managed a smile when meeting with Remuera residents, but he was grumpy about having to deal with “media drongos”. Photo: Lynn Grieveson/Getty ImagesTLDR: In my pick of the news links found in my rounds since 4am for paying subscribers below the paywall:Wayne Brown moans about the media and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards’ Political Roundup: The gamechanger PM and polls
    Dr Bryce Edwards writes –  Last night’s opinion polls answered the big question of whether a switch of prime minister would really be a gamechanger for election year. The 1News and Newshub polls released at 6pm gave the same response: the shift from Jacinda Ardern to Chris Hipkins ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • Dawn Chorus: Why 2023 will be a year of indecision & delay
    Hipkins’ aim this year will be to present a ‘low target’ for those seeking to attack Labour’s policies and spending. Photo: Lynn Grieveson/Getty ImagesTLDR: Anyone dealing with Government departments and councils who wants some sort of big or long-term decision out of officials or politicians this year should brace for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Dawn Chorus: Why 2023 will be a year of indecision & delay
    Hipkins’ aim this year will be to present a ‘low target’ for those seeking to attack Labour’s policies and spending. Photo: Lynn Grieveson/Getty ImagesTLDR: Anyone dealing with Government departments and councils who wants some sort of big or long-term decision out of officials or politicians this year should brace for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: The Gamechanger PM and polls
    Last night’s opinion polls answered the big question of whether a switch of prime minister would really be a gamechanger for election year. The 1News and Newshub polls released at 6pm gave the same response: the shift from Jacinda Ardern to Chris Hipkins has changed everything, and Labour is back ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    5 days ago
  • After the deluge – initial thoughts on the Auckland floods
    Over the last few years, it’s seemed like city after city around the world has become subject to extreme flooding events that have been made worse by impacts from climate change. We’ve highlighted many of them in our Weekly Roundup series. Sadly, over the last few days it’s been Auckland’s ...
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  • Ever Get the Feeling You've Been Cheated?
    And so the first month of the year draws to a close. It rained in Auckland on 21 out of the 31 days in January. Feels like summer never really happened this year. It’s actually hard to believe there were 10 days that it didn’t rain. Was it any better where ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Ani O’Brien: Luxon can’t afford to continue ‘small target’ politics
    A ‘small target’ strategy is not going to cut it anymore if National want to win the upcoming election. The game has changed and the game plan needs to change as well. Jacinda Ardern’s abrupt departure from the 9th floor has the potential to derail what looked to be an ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    5 days ago
  • Shaking up science
    When Grant Robertson talks about how the economy might change post-covid, one of the things he talks about is what he calls an unsung but interesting white paper on science. “It’s really important,” he says. The Minister in charge of the White Paper —  Te Ara Paerangi, Future Pathways ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • Dusk Chorus: Auckland schools closed til Feb 7
    The clean up has begun but more rain is on the way. Photo: Lynn Grieveson/Getty ImagesTLDR: Auckland’s floods over the last three days are turning into a macroeconomic event, with losses from Aotearoa’s biggest-ever climate event estimated at around $500 million and Auckland’s schools all closed for a week until ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Dusk Chorus: Auckland schools closed til Feb 7
    The clean up has begun but more rain is on the way. Photo: Lynn Grieveson/Getty ImagesTLDR: Auckland’s floods over the last three days are turning into a macroeconomic event, with losses from Aotearoa’s biggest-ever climate event estimated at around $500 million and Auckland’s schools all closed for a week until ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • How we get a new Prime Minister – it’s a simple matter of vice-regal appointment without a swear...
    The news media were at one ceremony by the looks of things. The Governor-General, the  Prime Minister and his deputy were at another. The news  media were at a swearing-in ceremony. The country’s leaders were at an appointment ceremony. The New Zealand Gazette record of what transpired says: Appointment of ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    6 days ago

  • Advancing our relationship in India
    Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta departs for India tomorrow as she continues to reconnect Aotearoa New Zealand to the world.  The visit will begin in New Delhi where the Foreign Minister will meet with the Vice President Hon Jagdeep Dhankar and her Indian Government counterparts, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Government Northland housing investment to spark transformational change
    Over $10 million infrastructure funding to unlock housing in Whangārei The purchase of a 3.279 hectare site in Kerikeri to enable 56 new homes Northland becomes eligible for $100 million scheme for affordable rentals Multiple Northland communities will benefit from multiple Government housing investments, delivering thousands of new homes for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Battle of Ohaeawai remembered
    A memorial event at a key battle site in the New Zealand land wars is an important event to mark the progress in relations between Māori and the Crown as we head towards Waitangi Day, Minister for Te Arawhiti Kelvin Davis said. The Battle of Ohaeawai in June 1845 saw ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • More Police deployed to the frontline
    More Police officers are being deployed to the frontline with the graduation of 54 new constables from the Royal New Zealand Police College today. The graduation ceremony for Recruit Wing 362 at Te Rauparaha Arena in Porirua was the first official event for Stuart Nash since his reappointment as Police ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Further support for upper North Island regions hit by significant weather
    The Government is unlocking an additional $700,000 in support for regions that have been badly hit by the recent flooding and storm damage in the upper North Island. “We’re supporting the response and recovery of Auckland, Waikato, Coromandel, Northland, and Bay of Plenty regions, through activating Enhanced Taskforce Green to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • The Princess Royal to visit New Zealand
    Prime Minister Chris Hipkins has welcomed the announcement that Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, Princess Anne, will visit New Zealand this month. “Princess Anne is travelling to Aotearoa at the request of the NZ Army’s Royal New Zealand Corps of Signals, of which she is Colonel in Chief, to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government and horticulture sector target $12b in exports by 2035
    A new Government and industry strategy launched today has its sights on growing the value of New Zealand’s horticultural production to $12 billion by 2035, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor said. “Our food and fibre exports are vital to New Zealand’s economic security. We’re focussed on long-term strategies that build on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Cost of living support extended for families and businesses
    25 cents per litre petrol excise duty cut extended to 30 June 2023 – reducing an average 60 litre tank of petrol by $17.25 Road User Charge discount will be re-introduced and continue through until 30 June Half price public transport fares extended to the end of June 2023 saving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • More Kiwis in work as rising wages match inflation
    The strong economy has attracted more people into the workforce, with a record number of New Zealanders in paid work and wages rising to help with cost of living pressures. “The Government’s economic plan is delivering on more better-paid jobs, growing wages and creating more opportunities for more New Zealanders,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government boosts fund for Auckland flooding
    The Government is providing a further $1 million to the Mayoral Relief Fund to help communities in Auckland following flooding, Minister for Emergency Management Kieran McAnulty announced today. “Cabinet today agreed that, given the severity of the event, a further $1 million contribution be made. Cabinet wishes to be proactive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Cabinet focused on bread and butter issues
    The new Cabinet will be focused on core bread and butter issues like the cost of living, education, health, housing and keeping communities and businesses safe, Prime Minister Chris Hipkins has announced. “We need a greater focus on what’s in front of New Zealanders right now. The new Cabinet line ...
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    5 days ago
  • Prime Minister to meet with PM Albanese
    Prime Minister Chris Hipkins will travel to Canberra next week for an in person meeting with Australian Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese. “The trans-Tasman relationship is New Zealand’s closest and most important, and it was crucial to me that my first overseas trip as Prime Minister was to Australia,” Chris Hipkins ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government makes first payment to Auckland Flooding fund
    The Government is providing establishment funding of $100,000 to the Mayoral Relief Fund to help communities in Auckland following flooding, Minister for Emergency Management Kieran McAnulty announced. “We moved quickly to make available this funding to support Aucklanders while the full extent of the damage is being assessed,” Kieran McAnulty ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government steps up to assist Auckland during flooding
    As the Mayor of Auckland has announced a state of emergency, the Government, through NEMA, is able to step up support for those affected by flooding in Auckland. “I’d urge people to follow the advice of authorities and check Auckland Emergency Management for the latest information. As always, the Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Poroporoaki: Titewhai Te Huia Hinewhare Harawira
    Ka papā te whatitiri, Hikohiko ana te uira, wāhi rua mai ana rā runga mai o Huruiki maunga Kua hinga te māreikura o te Nota, a Titewhai Harawira Nā reira, e te kahurangi, takoto, e moe Ka mōwai koa a Whakapara, kua uhia te Tai Tokerau e te kapua pōuri ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Enhanced Task Force Green Approved following Cyclone Hale
    Carmel Sepuloni, Minister for Social Development and Employment, has activated Enhanced Taskforce Green (ETFG) in response to flooding and damaged caused by Cyclone Hale in the Tairāwhiti region. Up to $500,000 will be made available to employ job seekers to support the clean-up. We are still investigating whether other parts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • General Election to be held on 14 October 2023
    The 2023 General Election will be held on Saturday 14 October 2023, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. “Announcing the election date early in the year provides New Zealanders with certainty and has become the practice of this Government and the previous one, and I believe is best practice,” Jacinda ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announces resignation
    Jacinda Ardern has announced she will step down as Prime Minister and Leader of the Labour Party. Her resignation will take effect on the appointment of a new Prime Minister. A caucus vote to elect a new Party Leader will occur in 3 days’ time on Sunday the 22nd of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago