'Sign With Jirah’ a highlight of NZ Sign Language Week
It’s NZ Sign Language (NZSL) Week this week and Wellington mum Coral Winiata decided to make a series of videos showing her learning to sign with her seven-year-old daughter.
The videos garnered more than 200,000 views for the week with 7-year-old Jirah Winiata.
This is the second year Winiata has launched her series 'Sign with Jirah' on NZSL week and it's going crazy online.
She says her focus is to teach people to do sign language.
“We just really want to focus NZSL week on promoting the language and doing what we can to teach people how to sign.”
According to Stats NZ in 2013, Māori had a higher-than-average deaf rate of 25% more than non-Māori.
Winiata encourages all to be open-minded about sign.
“Breaking that barrier so that they feel included and its empowering everyone, easy to learn and it does really make a difference.”
She adds that this week also marked a huge achievement for Jirah.
“It was the first time ever in her whole seven years that she asked me to sign, that she wanted to sign, that she wanted to make a video because everyone else was doing it. So we're really humbled, really touched, big highlight this week.”
There are hopes that the 'Sign with Jirah' series will continue.
“Māori Language Week is coming up soon and there are some Māori signs so we are considering doing a sign or two. We want to do all we can to promote sign so she can talk to more people and be more included.”
NZSL ends this Sunday but using sign language will continue on for some well and truly beyond Sunday.