New Zealand Sign Language Week is a chance to celebrate one of NZ’s official languages and have fun trying out a few signs!
Watch UC student Benazir and Disability Advisor Nicola to see how you can meet and greet in NZSL:
You can use this handy Deaf Aotearoa poster to learn how to sign your name:
Sign Language Tips
- Maintaining eye contact and using facial expressions are an important part of NZSL.
- Use your dominant hand to execute all the signs (for some signs you’ll need both hands).
Support at UC
The Equity & Disability Service (EDS) assists students with disabilities by providing study support services and specialist resources such as notetakers, assistive technology and special arrangements for exams.
The EDS also offers introductory New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) courses to UC students and staff. No previous NZSL experience is required. The course is full for this term, but more will be running next year – watch this space!
Have you heard about peer notetaking before? It’s a valuable service for students who are unable to take their own lecture notes. Find out more from a UC student who is a peer notetaker, and how it is beneficial for everyone involved!
Peer Notetaking, run by the Equity and Disability Service, is a great way for UC students to support their peers. Note takers provide their lecture notes along with extra information from class discussions and announcements.
Applying for this service is open to all students from undergraduates to masters, with accepted applicants being paid $8 per lecture. After having completed a minimum of 12 hours you can apply for your notetaking to be recognised on your Co-Curricular Record (CCR).
Your CCR reflects the work-readiness skills you have acquired by participating in activities outside of academic study, which peer notetaking applies to. It shows your future employers that you have made the most of the opportunities that are available to you while at UC. These work-readiness skills include:
- Planning and Organisation
The notes provided allow your peers who are unable to take notes for disability-related reasons, whether that is temporary is ongoing, to succeed and continue to find their place at UC.
Personally being a peer note taker has positively influenced my own study. Knowing that someone else is relying on my notes for their own study has motivated me to make sure my notes are as clear and informative as possible. It has also made me more engaged in class as all of the information discussed may be helpful for the person I am providing the notes for.
Peer Notetaking is a rewarding experience as you are helping someone you have never met to continue to succeed and find their place at UC, while also supporting your own study by enhancing your engagement and note taking skills.
New Zealand Sign Language Week is coming up soon! One of our Student Bloggers takes a look at NZSL, and the disability-related study support available for students at UC:
Celebrate this year’s New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) Week from 21 to 27 September. The NZSL week celebrates and brings awareness to the deaf community here in NZ. It is signed by over 20,000 people and is one of NZ’s official languages.
Here at UC, the Equity and Disability Service (EDS) is here to help with any condition which may affect your study such as hearing impairment, mental health condition, learning difficulty, or any other condition or injury. EDS provides a wide range of services which includes but not limited to:
- Practical support (e.g. sign language interpreters, peer note-takers)
- Assistive technology (e.g. digital voice recorders, CCTV, screen reading
and voice recognition software)
- Information in alternative formats (e.g. electronic, enlarged, tactile
- Special arrangements for exams (e.g. extra time, separate room, writer).
In order to use the service, you need to register with EDS and need to provide evidence of your impairment such as a medical certificate or a psychological report. For more information, you can visit: https://www.canterbury.ac.nz/equity-disability/
Alternatively, you can visit the EDS centre located on the ground floor of the Forestry building. Office hours are Monday-Friday 8:30am-4pm.
EDS also offer sign language classes. It is open for all UC students and staff and you can find more information at https://www.canterbury.ac.nz/equity-disability/sign-language/
The EDS is also looking for Peer-note takers who can take notes for students who are unable to themselves. It is paid and you can apply it to your Co-curricular Record.
If you want to learn more about NZSL cheek out these links:
Learn NZSL: http://www.learnnzsl.nz/
Deaf Aotearoa: https://www.deaf.org.nz/
NZSL dictionary: https://www.nzsl.nz/
Sign Ninja: http://www.nzslsignninja.co.nz/ (learn NZSL as you play)