SignDNA: creating a virtual land for the Deaf community

A session at NDF2013

Tuesday 26th November, 2013

11:45am to 12:00pm (NZMT)

Deafradio is a think-tank for the development of mostly technology based innovations for the Deaf community. Deafradio identified a worrying trend in the Deaf community: old films and video that had been filmed privately by Deaf people and their families were being discarded, destroyed, or otherwise so poorly stored that their contents were degrading beyond use. This needed urgent action.

New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) is a native language of New Zealand, our third official language, and is used extensively in the Deaf community. However its history is one of oppression and marginalisation. The Deaf community has been largely invisible in New Zealand history. NZSL has no written form, and so the only records of NZSL use and evolution have been captured, often incidentally, on private film and video. Our history was literally disappearing before our eyes.

This presentation aims to outline the issues concerned, and our response to this serious problem. SignDNA – Sign Language Deaf National Archive – aims to become a permanent archive for the preservation of NZSL and Deaf cultural history. From engaging the Deaf community in the cause, through crowd funding and volunteering, to website design and functionality, this presentation will briefly cover the main issues and decisions taken. We also will include a preview of the new site, including an explanation of features and how they relate to use by Deaf viewers and non-Deaf viewers alike.

About the speaker

This person is speaking at this event.
Sonia Pivac

Sonia Pivac is Creative Director and Deafradio. A Fullbright scholar, Sonia was the recipient of the NZSL Champion Award 2013.

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New Zealand New Zealand, Wellington

26th27th November 2013

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Time 11:45am12:00pm NZMT

Date Tue 26th November 2013


Soundings Theatre, Te Papa Tongarewa

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