|Not a member? Sign up now!|
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
“We can see from other countries that it’s not only possible but vital to make political communications and debates accessible to everyone.”