Press Release – National Foundation for the Deaf
The Deafness Forum of Australia (DFA) and The National Foundation for the Deaf in New Zealand have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the aim of promoting beneficial Australasian collaboration to achieve successful advocacy outcomes for people who …
26 February 2012
For immediate release
International Links for New Zealand deaf and hearing impaired
The Deafness Forum of Australia (DFA) and The National Foundation for the Deaf in New Zealand have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the aim of promoting beneficial Australasian collaboration to achieve successful advocacy outcomes for people who are deaf or hearing impaired.
The organizations will now be working together to remove barriers for the deaf and hearing impaired to full access and participation in society. This includes enabling successful communication such as captioning, sign language interpreters and note taking staff.
Of note, the DFA has come out in support of Mojo Mathers, the first profoundly deaf Member of Parliament in New Zealand, who has requested additional funding to cover the cost of note taking staff.
“We agree with Louise Carroll from The National Foundation for the Deaf that it is Mojo’s right to be able to access the information as easily as her hearing able counterparts,” says Steve Williamson CEO, DFA. “Using her support office staffing hours to pay for that access will severely disadvantage the work she is able to do in the community.”
In Australia, deaf and hearing impaired MPs are able to access parliamentary information through hearing loop systems and in US Senate they have real-time closed captioning of all Senate floor proceedings.
“It is time for the New Zealand Government to come on board and fully support the needs of people with sensory disabilities,” says Louise Carroll, CEO of The National Foundation for the Deaf.
“We can see from other countries that it’s not only possible but vital to make political communications and debates accessible to everyone.”
About The National Foundation for the Deaf
The National Foundation for the Deaf is a member group based not-for-profit organisation that works to promote the interests, advancement, independence and well-being of the approximately 700,000 deaf and hearing impaired persons in New Zealand and their families.
We raise public awareness of the health, social, educational, economical, environmental and cultural barriers encountered by deaf and hearing impaired persons and their families on a daily basis, and aims to break down barriers for participation for people with hearing loss, whilst encouraging all New Zealanders to protect and preserve their hearing.
Our vision is an inclusive society in which the importance of hearing and the consequences of hearing loss are understood and acknowledged – a society that respects the rights of all deaf and hearing impaired people, enabling these people to actively participate in and contribute to the community, leading an enriching life and communicating to their fullest potential.