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Deaf Studies » Overview

New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL), the language of the Deaf community, became New Zealand's third official language in April 2006 and is now spoken by more than 26,000 people in New Zealand.
Deaf Studies

Many people don’t realise, but New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) became New Zealand's third official language in April 2006, and is now spoken by more than 26,000 people in New Zealand.

Deaf studies doesn’t just involve learning sign language, but explores the experiences, community and social norms of being deaf. You will also learn about the history of sign language, its development, and its reach around the globe. 

Taking Deaf studies will give you insight on the global deaf community, and the challenges they face on a daily basis.  You will learn about the many milestones the deaf community has overcome –primarily how technological development, has transformed many people’s standard of living.

Not only this, but many courses offer sections outlining methods for teaching sign language.  Learning about the deaf community is a gateway into many community sector jobs. Depending on your specific course, further options of study could include becoming a teacher for those that are deaf, specialise in intercultural studies, or lead you to further linguistic study.