The escalation of COVID-19 has seen communities, businesses and governments respond like never before.

Empathy, care and concern for the well-being of friends, family, and community is more important than ever.

24 March 2020 Status

On 23 March 2020, the NZ Government moved to Alert Level 3: Restrict, with the intention to move to Level 4: Eliminate at 11.59pm on 25 March 2020.

You can find out what that means on the COVID-19 website athttps://covid19.govt.nz/government-actions/covid-19-alert-system/

The Ministry of Health COVID-19 website also has health-related information and they have provided COVID-19 information in NZSL and easy read format.

What to expect from Deaf Children NZ

Our Executive Committee has discussed what our response needs to be, what it means for us, our organisation and our members.

Our current activities, and the actions we will take, or have taken:

Over 60 DCNZ families, who have had funding allocated from the NZSL Learning Subsidy Fund, are taking NZSL lessons either in their home, in a community class or online, in Term and Term 2 of 2020.

  • All at-home NZSL lessons are to be postponed. Families please discuss with your NZSL Teacher or provider if they are able to offer online lessons, whether that’s now, during the 4 week lockdown, or starting in Term 2, or whenever the NZ Govt announces we can transition to Alert Level 3 or less.
  • All Community classes should be postponed and/or cancelled. Please contact your provider, if they have not already contacted you, to find out their plan.
  • Online lessons can continue as planned and/or can be rearranged to suit new schedules. Please discuss with your NZSL Teacher or provider if you need to make changes to your lesson plan, and please be patient as they try to sort out their own scheduling.
  • NZSL Teachers. You can invoice DCNZ for Term 1 lessons at the agreed value, via email to me, including the NZSL reference (NZSL000) and a list of the NZSL lessons that have been held (dates and times). You will be sent a link to a Teacher Progress Report for each family in the week beginning 6 April 2020.

We had started planning for our biennial Family Camp, scheduled for Term 4 of 2020, in Auckland.

We aim to try to find a new date to host our Family Camp in Term 1 of 2021.

We administer a number of financial assistance funds which DCNZ members can apply for.

These include help with the cost of tutor fees, speech-language therapy, NZSL classes, and assistive devices. We also have education scholarships and our annual Excellence Awards (in Term 3 each year), which recognises the achievement of our school-aged members.

We do not see any issue in continuing to administer and approve our members financial assistance applications.

We have Executive Committee meetings every quarter which means our committee members fly in from all parts of NZ, for a day-long hui.

We will now conduct our Committee meetings online.

We courier out Welcome Kits to our new members every month, with books, NZSL resources and information for parents.

We will continue to courier out our Welcome Kits if we are able to do so safely, and will take advice from the NZ Government and/or the Ministry of Health about the feasibility of doing so, or until we run out of stock and are unable to obtain more.

Be wary of inaccurate information

Be wary of information that is shared on social media platforms as their sources cannot often be confirmed, and there is potential for misleading information.

Please feel free to contact DCNZ Community Manager, Meg Melvin, via email at community@deafchildren.org.nz or phone/text 021 0892 7668, to discuss any matters relating to the NZSL lessons, membership or other funding applications.

Remember to stay safe > stay at a distance from others, stay home and stay connected.