Increased support for Deaf and hard-of-hearing students, and assistive technology

Additional funding to support children and young people who are Deaf or hard-of-hearing, and for assistive technology, was announced on 19 July by Associate Education Minister Tracey Martin.

Increased funding of $9.9 million over the next four years as part of Budget 2019 will provide:

  • New Zealand Sign Language at school (NZSL@School) support for an additional 25 students
  • study awards to support 24 more teachers to complete specialist training as Resource Teachers of the Deaf
  • additional Advisors on Deaf Children, who will provide intensive support to young and very young Deaf children and their whānau
  • three new immersion hubs, where Deaf children enrolled in their local school can meet regularly with other Deaf children and young people, and develop their NZSL capability, and
  • support for up to 20 babies and young children with cochlear implants each year, so they get the greatest benefit from their implant.

This increase in learning support is expected to provide a range of benefits over time for students, such as stronger communication skills and relationships; improved wellbeing and health outcomes; and improved participation in education, the workforce and the community.

Minister Martin also announced a $3.9 million increase in funding for assistive technology, such as specialised computers, classroom hearing or vision equipment.  This will support children and young people with a range of learning support needs to hear, see and study. 

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