4 Sep 2013

HRC wants better sign language access

7:47 am on 4 September 2013

The Human Rights Commission is calling for greater sign language education and better access to interpreters for the deaf community.

A new report by the commission says deaf people are still struggling to access the same basic rights as those who are not deaf.

Sign language was made an official language in 2006, and in 2008 New Zealand ratified a United Nations convention recognising it as equal to spoken languages.

However, Disabilities Commissioner Paul Gibson says the deaf community is still facing challenges in everyday life.

Mr Gibson says despite sign being an official language, deaf people are still under-employed and over-represented in mental health statistics.