NZSL / Deaf Studies FAQs
Deaf Studies is the study of Deaf Culture, the community, its language, its history and its identity (customs and traditions). The phrase "Deaf Studies" was first coined at an international conference held in Washington D.C. in 1989. The conference "The Deaf Way -- An International Festival and Conference on the Language, Culture, History and Arts of Deaf People", had an important influence on bringing to the attention of educators of the Deaf in New Zealand, the need for a Deaf Studies Curriculum. A Deaf Studies Curriculum was then developed at the Centre as a guide to the teaching of Deaf Studies at Primary and Secondary School level. The curriculum covers the topics of History (World and New Zealand), Culture, Social Change, Communication, Identity and New Zealand Sign Language. Aspects of this curriculum can be integrated into the National Social Studies, Technology and Health curriculum.