I grew up with NZSL

Post by Meghan Coppage

The question you ask me is when did I realise I related to sign language? Really, I don’t know.

I was born with Deaf parents, they taught me sign language – BSL (British Sign Language) as I was born in England so it was BSL first. So I don’t feel there was any ah ha moment for me. I was born using BSL and grew up with it.

When I was six, I moved to New Zealand. I learnt New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). I don’t think BSL and NZSL is different I think it is the same – there really was no moment when I thought NZSL was a different language no. I just carry on using sign language – that’s it really.

But its interesting, because I have a Deaf family and we sign all the time but when I go and visit my Deaf friends with hearing parents and hearing families it really hits me that’s there’s no sign language. The Deaf child’s own language, their communicative language, nothing there, just nothing. Just mouthing and gestures really. Owww. I wish I could support the family somehow, resources so families can learn to sign. Its interesting yeah.

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