What's new at TeachSign

14 March 2019

Background info

The NZSL Board is supporting a range of work programme, focusing on strengthening the NZSL teaching system and support for NZSL tutors. Meetings between The Office for Disability Issues and NZSL tutors, as the NZSL Tutors Survey 2018 report, identified the need to make some improvements to TeachSign website. The NZSL Board agreed to fund this work. So, what's new?

New, centralised database

  • NZSLTA, RAP, TeachSign databases merged as one. List of 340+ members since 1992.
  • Give better statistics / info about NZSLTA members.
  • Keep a record of all classes advertised on TeachSign each year from 2019.
  • Feed into the MailChimp application tool for improved NZSLTA newsletters.


  • New online payment system – can pay with visa or debit card using PayPal. Easier for NZSLTA to approve quicker. When approved, you get an email instantly to access TeachSign website. If you use internet banking, it’ll be slower (old system).
  • Improved membership form to collect more info about NZSL teachers/teaching.
  • Shorter form for returning members – all your details will be remembered. Yay!
  • You can update your personal details and find your membership number in ‘Profile’ tab.

RAP / NZSL Tutors Directory

  • New list / photos of all qualified / provisional tutors registered with RAP.
  • More visibility = public/employers are encouraged to use registered tutors. Non-registered members are encouraged to apply for tutor registration to get recognition.
  • You can change your photo in profile for this directory.
  • Work in progress: new online RAP form when RAP review is completed. Your files will be stored online all in one place and accessed by RAP.

Class listings

  • New “Find an NZSL Class” page for students nationwide. This include all NZSL / Deaf culture related courses, online learning, etc.
  • Qualified / provisional tutors registered with RAP can fill a form to advertise their classes/services. This will stop cowboys from joining NZSLTA to advertise.
  • You can edit your advertisements whenever.
  • Advertisements will automatically disappear when the course is finished.
  • Filters / search boxes to help with finding suitable classes e.g. region, level, tuition type.
  • No work at all for NZSLTA/TeachSign team! It’s all your responsibility.

Teachers / resources section

  • Site map restructured. Some pages swapped around & deleted. Easier to find tabs.
  • Improved navigation – more buttons to help with moving around.
  • Approx. 20 new short videos created to explain about arranging / teaching classes.
  • Content edited to make it shorter and easier to read.
  • New feedback tab to give feedback on teaching resources.
  • Drawings page renamed as “Shaun Fahey Drawings” page.

Learners section

  • New level one homework site: existing TeachSign resources for students are now web-based e.g. units 1-9 homework sheets / handouts, 230 English phrases translated in NZSL, links to Learn NZSL pages.
  • New links to NZSL learning resources all on one page. Like a directory. Yay for students!
  • Transfer of existing NZSL Units 1-6 and Units 7-12 videos and workbook to TeachSign. Free for students. Only members can download videos for teaching. No more buying these workbooks/DVDs!


  • More info about NZSLTA e.g. executives, staff, constitution.
  • New local tutors’ branches page.
  • New history section: timeline, conferences, storyfest, hall of fame (honouring great NZSLTA contributors).

Other features

  • More secure. Changed from http:// to https://
  • Fresh homepage design.

Go on, have a look. Spread the word.


Project Manager: Sara Pivac Alexander, CreateNZSL
Web Designer/Developer: Kirsten Morgan, SUTHERLANDesign
Web Content Writer: Sara Pivac Alexander, Lynette Pivac (history/RAP)
Filming/Editors: Victoria Lessing & Jaime Brown, Merge NZ; Daniel Harborne, Signability
Signing models: Julie-Anne Taylor, Rachel Walker, James Pole, Marianne Spencer, Victoria Lessing, Lynette Pivac
Copy Editor: Catherine Greenwood

Special thanks

Theresa Cooper, NZSLTA; Rachel Noble, Ennoble; Sonia Pivac
Darryl Alexander and Clive Morgan for their patience and support.
The NZSL Board for funding this project. Handswave.