Deaf protest against education cuts

Members of the deaf and hearing impaired community staged a silent protest against proposed education fund cuts outside Prime Minister John Key's electorate office today.

About 15 people protested in sign language against proposals to cut Tertiary Education Commission funding for the Advance Centre, which helps with the education of deaf and hearing impaired people.

The centre said it would have to close if the funding was cut, putting the education of deaf and hearing impaired people at risk.

"Despite repeated requests to meet with the acting minister for disability issues and the minister for tertiary education, and attempts to correspond with the Office for Disability Issues and the prime minister, no justification for cutting the service has been given," the centre said in a statement.

"New Zealand Sign Language is an official language of New Zealand, and it is expected that there will be an increase in complaints to the Human Rights Commission over access to education unless immediate action is taken to save the Advance Centre."

The centre helps deaf and hearing impaired students as well as institutions and teachers.

- NZPA

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