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References and additional resources

These organisations and resources were used in the development of Thumbs Up! and may be useful to support teaching and learning.

This list of additional resources supports inclusive teacher practice, provides links to organisations, and information to support ākonga who are Deaf or hard of hearing.

The Deaf Aotearoa logo shaped like a butterfly

Deaf Aotearoa

Provides a range of services for the Deaf Community and information about Deaf Awareness Course and New Zealand Sign Language Courses.

Other resources include the “Lets’ Talk” series, which provides signs to learn for everyday situations, such as Māori concepts, weekend, and medical situations.

Learning Languages

Learning Languages - New Zealand Sign Language resources on Te Kete Ipurangi (TKI)

Key resources include New Zealand Sign Language in the New Zealand Curriculum (downloadable PDF, 844 KB) and NZSL videos for teachers and young school aged students (14 lessons).


The New Zealand Curriculum for English-medium Teaching and Learning in Years 1–13

Victoria University of Wellington

NZSL practice exercises for beginners

This site is for NZSL university students. It provides exercises of short video clips of signers where you respond by clicking on or entering responses to questions.

NZSL Victoria University of Wellington – course information for those keen to study New Zealand Sign Language.

MoE logo

Inclusive education guides for schools – Students who are deaf or hard of hearing and learning

An online guide for teachers and school leaders offering guidance on understanding being deaf, strategies for action, and key resources.

enabling e-Learning

Supporting students who are Deaf or hard of hearing using digital technologies for learning

Guidance and resources for overcoming barriers to learning for students who are Deaf or hard of hearing.


New Zealand Sign Language Act 2006 

New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) is recognised as an official language of New Zealand through this act. 

A pencil drawing of a person signing

New Zealand Sign Language Dictionary

You can undertake a keyword search in Māori and English or a visual search by hand shape and body location.

Ko Taku Reo Deaf Education New Zealand

Ko Taku Reo/Deaf Education New Zealand

Formerly the van Asch Deaf Education Centre, Ko Taku Reo provides education services for deaf and hard of hearing children. Information is for parents, whānau, and educators.


Additional useful resources

Students who are deaf or hard of hearing text cover

Students who are deaf or hard of hearing: A resource for educators (June 2016)

Examines how being deaf or hard of hearing can influence learning and provides strategies teachers can use in the classroom

Learn New Zealand Sign Language


A free learning portal where you can watch, learn, and practise how to use NZSL in common situations. The site has videos, resources, and exercises.

Office for Disability Issues

New Zealand Sign Language Board

The hub within the Office for Disability Issues website. The NZSL Board sets out to promote New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) and to ensure it is a strong, vibrant language recognised by New Zealand society.

The blue cover of the NZSL Strategy 2018-2023 and a woman signing "NZSL"

NZSL Strategy 2018-2023

Guides the work the NZSL Board needs to promote the use of NZSL by Deaf people and other users. It is also intended to guide the NZSL work of government agencies.

Sign Language Interpreters Associate of New Zealand

SLIANZ – The Sign Language Interpreters Associate of New Zealand

A professional organisation that represents and advances the profession. Informs members and consumers and promotes high standards of practice in the field.

The Encyclopedia of New Zealand for the Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Story: New Zealand Sign Language

Discover the story of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL), made an official language New Zealand Sign Language Act 2006.

Sign Language Deaf National Archive New Zealand

SignDNA –Sign Language Deaf National Archive

This project collects, digitises, and preserves film of New Zealanders using sign language.

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