Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Kicking the deaf

The Manawatu Standard reports that the government has cut funding for deaf education, leaving deaf children with no formal means of learning New Zealand Sign Language, and their parents with no means of learning how to communicate with them. While night classes are available, they are expensive, and thanks to the government's cuts to Adult and Community Education, their funding is under threat too.

This decision is simply evil. There is no other way to describe it. Learning NZSL - an official language of New Zealand - is not a luxury. For these people, it is a necessity, vital if they are to get along in everyday life or have any sort of normal relationship with their friends and family. Funding it is a requirement of any decent society.

But our government isn't decent. They'd rather spend the money on subsidising the snobbery of the rich by increasing funding for already wealthy private schools. And that speaks volumes about their priorities.