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Information for Deaf people

Information for Deaf people

Information for Deaf people

Booking an NZSL interpreter

Can I request a NZSL interpreter at my appointment?

Yes, you are entitled to a NZSL interpreter at any appointments you have.

It can be difficult to find interpreters, especially at short notice.

Video Relay interpreting (VRI) could be an option if you can’t find an NZSL interpreter. Remember: VRI is available 8am-8pm.

You are also entitled to a NZSL interpreter if you are not the client, but your partner, child or whanau is the patient and you need to know what’s going on.

Who is responsible for booking the interpreter?

The organisation is responsible for booking the interpreters and should be booked by the person arranging the appointment, e.g, WINZ, GP.

NZSL interpreter after-hours in an emergency?

Yes, iSign is available to book interpreters 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. However NZSL interpreters are not always available.

Video Remote Interpreting (VRI) is available from 8am to 8pm. See: www.NZVIS.co.nz

Can I request a particular interpreter?

Yes, let the staff member making the booking know which interpreter you want. If the interpreter you want is not free, you need to decide to go ahead with the appointment or postpone to another time.

What should I do if no NZSL Interpreters are available?

You need to decide whether to:

  • use VRI (if between 8am - 8pm)
  • postpone the appointment until you can get an interpreter
  • use note writing, online videos, gesture, lip reading, family/friend to interpret (there are risks with using these options)
  • contact Deaf Aotearoa for support about deciding what to do next.

Who can I contact if I feel the clinician/support worker doesn’t understand Deaf culture?

Going to the hospital? What you need to know?

Video (13min): https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2&v=DzLcgY71zEQ&feature=emb_logo

Health information in NZSL

There is a small amount of health information available in NZSL. This includes:

Health resources on HealthEd website: 

Depression.org.nz uses NZSL:

There is also health information available online in British Sign Language (BSL) that may be accessible to some people.

The Deaf Health Charity Signhealth:

Other work areas

Policy - Information for Deaf people | Platform Trust


Contributing to policy development, as well as providing a policy library and a range of publications to support the sector.

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Advocacy - Information for Deaf people | Platform Trust


Fostering strategic partnerships and alliances to achieve a strong and sustainable mental health and addiction NGO and community sector.

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