About TeachSign

The TeachSign website is designed as a one-stop hub for NZSL teachers to access information and resources about teaching NZSL, particularly in the area of community education.

This website has been instigated and sponsored by the TAB Book Project Committee, namely Lynette Pivac, Shona McGhie, Dulcie McKie and Mary Johnson.  This group was called the TAB sub-committee and initiated the publication, distribution and sale of The NZSL Basic Handbook and A Dictionary of Signed Synonyms, in order to meet the demands of NZSL students requiring NZSL handbooks, and to sponsor local workshops and NZSLTA national conferences over the years for the benefit of NZSL teachers, as well as a computer and laptop for the NZSLTA.

See below for a historical overview of the TAB Book Project Committee.

1993

After the incorporation of the NZSLTA on 25 June, a group of Auckland NZSL tutors decided to set up a new local body called Tutors Auckland Branch (TAB) in October.

1994

A sub-committee was set up to create an NZSL handbook for NZSL students.  The project committee were Lynette Pivac, Penny Went, Dulcie McKie, Ngaire Doherty and Mary Speirs. Some volunteers were recruited to work on this project every Saturday.

1995

After one and a half years’ hard work, the Basic NZSL Handbook containing 480 signs illustrated by Stuart Howard was launched (see photo). Thereafter Lynette Pivac set up a mail-order business for the TAB with the assistance of Carol Brady to distribute and sell the handbooks for the next six years.

tab-handbook-committee-1995.jpg

From left: Penny Went, Mary Speirs, Dulcie McKie, Lynette Pivac, and Ngaire Doherty.

1997

The proceeds of handbook sales helped to start another handbook project, with the aim of more more sign drawings.

1999

The TAB subcommittee changed its name to TABPC, to focus on NZSL resource development.
TABPC agreed to Lynette Pivac making a new NZSL Tutors Handbook (guidelines) to give guidance to NZSL tutors teaching in New Zealand.

2001

The handbook called A Dictionary of Signed Synonyms, consisting of 580 signs, was published and launched on 26 January at the 6th NZSLTA National Conference.

TABPC decided to set up a new separate charitable body called Auckland Sign Language and Resources Charitable Trust.  This trust was incorporated in November for the purpose of caretaking monies for NZSL resource development.

2002

These two handbooks for NZSL students are now distributed and sold through Deaf Aotearoa’s local offices for a commission fee.

2010

TABPC agreed to cease the publication of handbooks due to the creation of the accessible NZSL Online Dictionary, launched in 2011.

2012

TABPC appointed Sara Pivac Alexander to investigate the NZSL Level One teaching and resourcing needs of NZSL teachers.  A report is published in March.

2013

TABPC sponsored a number of NZSL resource development projects based on the survey report.  Sara Pivac Alexander and Victoria Lessing worked on these projects.

2014

TeachSign website and other NZSL teaching resources are launched at 13th NZSLTA National Conference in July.