Case-study: Te Papa’s NZSL Mobile Guide

The Te Papa New Zealand Sign Language Mobile Guide was developed with the Deaf community, for the Deaf community.

The first activity undertaken for this project was a creative co-design workshop run with representatives of Deaf organisations and Deaf community members as well as key Te Papa staff to develop key goals.

The NZSL Mobile Guide was created by an in-house team who worked closely with NZSL Consultant Theresa Cooper and with advisors from Deaf Aotearoa and Arts Access Aotearoa who formed a project Advisory Group. As much as possible, external contracts were with Deaf-owned and run businesses including Deafradio and diverse Deaf presenters.

Experiences designed and developed in this project include:

  • 'Plan your visit' NZSL webpage

  • ‘Welcome’ in NZSL playing on a screen in the foyer of the museum

  • ‘Orientation’ in NZSL playing on a small screen on the Info Desk

  • ‘What’s At Te Papa’ Mobile Guide

  • ‘Take a Tour’ Mobile Guide

In the following video, Theresa Cooper, NZSL Consultant, and Amos Mann, Digital Producer offer practical steps for organisations of all sizes to increase use of New Zealand Sign Language for Deaf communities.

This presentation includes:

  • The story of the Te Papa NZSL Mobile Guide [From video start]

  • Practical steps towards increasing use of NZSL in your organisation [From 20:00]

  • Resources and funding sources, advice from Arts Access Aotearoa [From 23:40]

  • Evaluation of the Te Papa NZSL Mobile Guide and future directions for NZSL use at Te Papa [From 25:35]

This case study was originally presented at National Digital Forum 2022 at Te Papa.

Collaboration Resources

NZSL and Deaf community resources

Sourcing NZSL Interpreters

Don’t have funds to hire an Interpreter? There are funds available, e.g. apply to National Foundation for Deaf & Hard of Hearing Community Fund for a small grant to hire interpreters and host community.

Project funding

Once you’ve engaged with local NZSL & Deaf community and understand more about the goals and what the project will be, try these avenues for further funding:

  • Local council funding

  • Lotteries, COGs, Pub Charities

  • Philanthropic Foundation

  • Innovation based funding, if your project is using technology in innovative ways

  • Creative NZ

  • NZSL Sign Language Board Fund

Government agencies

To learn more about Government changes in this space and advocacy, check out the Access Matters website.

The following resources for collaboration with NZSL and Deaf communities have been provided by Arts Access Aotearoa.