How does it work?

All about iSign NZSL interpreting services.

Deaf people who use New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) as their first or preferred language often require NZSL interpreting services for their communication access and participation.

Interpreters enable communication between two languages and can also help bridge cultural differences. NZSL is a key part of Deaf culture and has its own grammatical structure that is very different to English. 

iSign’s NZSL interpreting services are provided by qualified interpreters affiliated with a professional body that sets a professional code of conduct and/or code of ethics, that includes interpreter's confidentiality and impartiality. 

iSign staff work hard to ensure appropriate NZSL interpreters are provided for each individual job. This takes into account the job location, type of job, any preferences or requirements of the Deaf person/people and iSign interpreter’s skills/experience and availability.

Jobs over one hour long generally require two interpreters and this will be negotiated and agreed prior to job confirmation. Interpreting is mentally and physically demanding work and two interpreters teaming ensure both the interpreters health and safety and the quality of the interpretating.

iSign provides on site face-to-face interpreters which is generally the most appropriate way to ensure full accessibility and participation. In some situations video remote interpreting may be appropriate. Learn more about Video Interpreting Service here. 


  • Share preparation material with the interpreter. This can include things like names of attendees, background information/reading, previous meeting notes, presentation notes, Powerpoints or any documents to be discussed

  • Ensure the interpreter is placed opposite the Deaf person in a clear line of vision

  • Ensure no bright lights or windows behind the interpreter

  • Speak at a normal pace

  • Look at, and speak directly to, the deaf person 

  • Be aware there is a few seconds delay in the interpreting process

  • In group situations facilitate turn taking and ask people to put their hand up if they want to speak

  • Be aware that interpreters are bound by a code of ethics and/or code of practice that includes impartiality and confidentiality.