How it Works

First Signs is a free Deaf Aotearoa service for families and whānau with deaf or hard of hearing children aged 0 – 5years.

We provide families and whānau with opportunities to learn New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) and support their child’s development, regardless of any assistive listening devices or support services the child may or may not use.

We are a family centered service, goals are set by you as a family and your choices are respected. Our service is delivered by our Facilitators throughout the country, we work closely with the Advisors on Deaf Children (Ministry of Education) as well as the numerous other service providers that you as a family may encounter e.g.: Ko Taku Reo Deaf Education NZ, Cochlear Implant Programmes.


Even if you are new to using NZSL your attempts to sign are opening up a wonderful visual world for your child, this together with your First Signs Facilitator and other NZSL users will provide an environment where your child can flourish and interact with a variety of users of the language.


What we offer:

  • support to develop NZSL in your family through in home or online sessions with a First Signs Facilitator.
  • monitoring of your child’s NZSL development
  • regular gatherings that provide you with opportunities to use NZSL and interact with other users of the language.
  • a link to the local Deaf community
  • advice and guidance as your child transitions from pre-school into Primary School

Also in First Steps

NZSL With Your Little One

Here you’ll learn about signing with your child, with tips and tricks to help you along the way.

About Us

Come and meet the team!


Contact Us


0800 33 23 22