What we do
Deaf Aotearoa is a national organisation representing the voice of Deaf people, and the national service provider for Deaf people in New Zealand.
Deaf Aotearoa also works closely with Deaf communities, government agencies and other organisations to increase awareness, promote New Zealand Sign Language and strengthen the rights of Deaf people.
Deaf Aotearoa delivers flexible and responsive services which accomodates the Deaf community’s needs. We provide knowledge, information, resources and skills. With these, Deaf people are able to independently manage events in their own lives.
Deaf Aotearoa works with government agencies, businesses and other organisations to provide information and resources on life for Deaf New Zealanders, the Deaf community and NZSL.
Deaf Aotearoa delivers key services to the Deaf community, in line with the objectives defined in the Strategic Direction.
These services are designed to ensure Deaf people can achieve their goals at any stage in life, from birth onwards.
The butterfly effect §
The Deaf Aotearoa logo features a butterfly symbol.
The butterfly symbol is a beautiful visual metaphor for sign language because some butterflies have no sense of hearing, do not produce sounds or use them to communicate. That is something that Deaf people can relate to.
Like butterflies, Deaf people make more use of their eyes to communicate. Butterflies use their body and legs to feel vibrations, while Deaf people use their hands.
Butterflies look very beautiful and graceful; they are free, independent and liberated once they leave the cocoon.
In the same way, NZSL allows Deaf people to be free and independent and take an active role in society. This is why the Deaf community has advocated so strongly for the progression of NZSL as an official language of New Zealand and recognition of their right to be treated equally in society.