Community Connection Courses

New Zealand Sign language for businesses, service providers and organisations

ADS provides unique Deaf awareness training for organisations, including effective communication strategies to bridge the gap between Deaf clients, service users, colleagues and hearing staff.

Deaf Awareness workshops

The Auckland Deaf Society (ADS) began in 1937, and since then has been a welcoming space for the Deaf/NZSL community. The Society celebrates diversity, welcoming people at all stages of life, and all ethnicities. Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and hearing people come together to create connections and inclusion for the Deaf Community of Auckland. ADS promote NZ Sign Language (NZSL), an official language of NZ, and Deaf Culture.

Our Deaf awareness workshops include the history of NZ’s Deaf community, Deaf education, Deaf Culture, and effective communication with Deaf people. A good understanding of Deaf Culture and our community is paramount to developing meaningful communication with Deaf people, and to avoid cross-cultural conflicts. A lack of knowledge about Deaf Culture and language often leads to a misunderstanding between Deaf and hearing people. Our courses are delivered by our friendly staff who are Deaf themselves, using a qualified interpreter if required.

Our objective is to make Auckland the most Deaf-friendly city in the world, and it seems our reputation has spread far and wide around Auckland.

Deaf Culture

Deaf culture is the heart of Deaf communities around New Zealand. Auckland’s Deaf community is a cultural group which shares a language and a common heritage. The Auckland Deaf community, therefore, identify themselves as members of a cultural and linguistic group. Identification with the Deaf community is a personal choice. It is usually made independent of the individual’s hearing status, and the community is not automatically composed of all people who are Deaf or hard of hearing. Above all, members of the Auckland Deaf community are immensely proud to have a strong sense of pride and identity as a Deaf person using NZSL.

Contact the Auckland Deaf Society for guidance on course options, costings and the booking process. We will discuss any requirements that you/your organisation, company or group wish to include in your programme. Please email for more information.

Communication Strategies for Businesses
Customised Workplace Courses
Sign Language Team Building Activities

Some of our Testimonials

I’d like to thank you very much for Julie-Anne’s visit last night. It really helped us increase our awareness of the Deaf community we are working with and their specific needs in the community. This will help all of us provide a better service, be more aware, and share this awareness with others.

Our organisation wants to form a bond with the Auckland Deaf Society to provide better support so we hope to continue building this rapport between our two organisations and us as individuals.

Your presence last night and your willingness to share your knowledge with us is much appreciated.

Andres Chiquillo Manrique
Disability Support Facilitator

I must thank Rachel Walker for your incredible class this summer, though. It has been inspiring and has opened new doors in both my life and Haruka’s. We are certainly interested in continuing learning more, I’ll be trying to fit it with my working roster.

Actually today in the marae’s ceremonies, there was a person translating into NZSL. It was very exciting to be able to understand a little bit of her signs. Although I confess she was too fast for me to follow properly, I still felt I have made important progress! 🙂

Once again, thank you for your teachings. I will treasure them forever.

Juan Manuel Parada
NZSL Student

Fabulous course and thoroughly enjoying it and would like to continue on it for the next level.  How do I go about this ? Our first NZSL teacher was absolutely fantastic and really enjoying our new teacher Richard Peri.

Nikola Worrall-Bader