First Signs:

Life is better with NZSL

First Signs is provided through a mix of home visits and web-based support from Deaf Aotearoa Facilitators.

Frequency of visits can vary from family to family.

Visits can be at home, or even at the park!

First Signs provides information and resources and always respects each family’s decisions.

First Signs:

  • Supports you to have NZSL as a language in your home
  • Supports and monitors NZSL language development
  • Works with Advisors on Deaf Children (AODC) and other professionals involved with the family, e.g.: cochlear implant programme, audiologists, Ko Taku Reo Deaf Education NZ
  • Supports transition to ECE and/or school.

First Steps

Everything you need to know about First Signs. Come on in

Learn Sign

Get your hands out, flex those face muscles and learn some New Zealand Sign Language


Information about sign language with babies and toddlers.

Learn Sign videos

Stories, Rhymes, Celebrations

Check in here regularly for videos giving you NZSL for topical themes: birthdays, Christmas, rhymes and more

Meet the team

The First Signs team is led by Manager: Natasha Cloete and Team Leaders: Liz Kay and Cheryl Spykerman.

Our First Signs Facilitators are based in 13 offices around Aotearoa New Zealand. We bring NZSL into your home in a family centred approach.

We make learning NZSL fun!




Visual Communication

Ways to get your little one’s attention and helpful tips to communicate visually.

See More

Developing Literacy Skills

Find out how to share stories and start developing your child’s literacy skills.

See More

Further Information

More reading on sign language and deaf children.

See More

First Signs Vocabulary booklet

A book of useful vocabulary for young ones and their families

See More

NZSL and Us

A short series of videos about NZSL and families produced by Deaf Children NZ

See More

What is NZSL?

New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) is the natural language of the Deaf community in New Zealand, learn…

See More

Communication Tips

Some tips to ease communication with Deaf people

See More


Have you been part of our service? Provide your feedback here

See More

Contact Us


0800 33 23 22