The NZSL Fund invests in projects that develop and enhance the abilities, access, and rights of the core NZSL community.

Funding positive changes

The NZSL Fund supports NZSL community-led projects that strengthen NZSL in the home, within whānau, hapū and iwi, and within the Deaf community. Since its inception in 2015, in two funding rounds to date, the NZSL Fund has provided funding for projects to support initiatives that promote and maintain NZSL. The NZSL Board is responsible for its oversight, and making recommendations on the allocations of funds from it.

Round 3 applications have closed - find out more information.

Round 1 - NZSL Fund

Fourteen projects were approved and received a total of $900,000 funding for the first round (1 July 2014 to 30 June 2015). The projects receiving funding range from further development of the NZSL Online Dictionary, to a theatre performance that has been developed in both NZSL and spoken English, designed to be accessible for both Deaf and hearing audiences, to extending a NZSL for Families course.

A few highlights:

  • Free e-learning resources being developed for NZSL learners – Victoria University Deaf Studies Research Unit was granted funding to develop a free online suite of interactive exercises for NZSL learners in the first round of the NZSL Fund.
  • New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) Week 2015 – Celebrating, Communicating and Connecting. Deaf Aotearoa received $350,000 from the NZSL Fund to support the biggest NZSL event of the year.
  • New Zealand Deaf Short Film Festival a roaring success – cost associated with hosting the September 2015 Deaf Short Film Festival
  • Deaf Interpreting New Zealand – the lack of Deaf interpreters in New Zealand was addressed in a one-day workshop.

Read the complete list of recipients for Round 1. 

Round 2 - NZSL Fund

Twenty-four projects for the second funding round (1 July 2015 to 30 June 2016) were approved and received a total of $751,114. Successful projects include the development of a youth mentorship programme, a series of NZSL Immersion Courses in Otago where there is very limited access to NZSL for families with Deaf children and a national conference for families with Deaf children.

Read the complete list of recipients for Round 2.

Round 3 - NZSL Fund

Applications for Round 3 have closed. See more information.

Two-year funding was granted to the Ministry of Education’s NZSL Proficiency Instrument (NZSL SLPI) – Adult Assessment project, with $77,366.96 committed from the 2016-2017 funding.

The NZSL Fund is also used to support the NZSL Board Action Plan 2016 – 2018 and other NZSL maintenance and promotion work.

Find out more about the NZSL Board and its work.


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