Documentaries can engage an audience in a far stronger way than any presentation could hope to achieve. They therefore become a powerful tool for drawing attention to a particular issue, explaining a significant time in history, or celebrating an achievement. Generally speaking there are two types of documentary: those made by a minority community about an issue, and those made by the majority society about the minority community. Both can have their place and reveal something special in a unique way. This section includes both kinds. Special mention should go to Joan Bailey, who pioneered Deaf documentary making in New Zealand, and whose work you can view in this section. Please note that if you have a documentary to add to SignDNA, we would welcome it. Please be in touch.

  • TV/Media
2017
article – Taonga source: Stuff

St Theresa’s School sets example for NZSL friendly schools

A Porirua school is being heralded as a great example of inclusive education. St Theresa's School in Plimmerton is the focus of a new short documentary by van Asch Deaf Education Centre, which will be used as a resource to show how to effectively integrate deaf education and culture into schools.
Stuff
2007
publication – Taonga source: Oticon Foundation

Soundscape: February 2007

Oticon Foundation
1988
video – Taonga source: Television New Zealand Archive

I’m Deaf, It’s OK

A day in the life of Gareth Griffiths, a ten year old Deaf boy.
Television New Zealand Archive
1974
publication – Taonga source: New Zealand Deaf News

Deaf News of New Zealand: 1974 (Vol. 11, No. 3)

1994
video – Taonga source: Television New Zealand Archive

A Deafening Silence

A ‘Frontline’ documentary that touches upon an on-going topic - Deaf Education - in the Deaf community, not only in New Zealand but worldwide as well. In 2019, the message remains as familiar as it was twenty-five years ago.
Television New Zealand Archive
1993
video – Taonga source: Television New Zealand Archive

Sounds or Silence?

In the early 1990s, due to a breakthrough in technology, cochlear implants were starting to become the norm. The Deaf community worldwide viewed cochlear implants as a device that disregarded the need for access to sign language. Others considered such devices a miracle. In 1993, ‘60 Minutes’ investigated this controversial topic in New Zealand.
Television New Zealand Archive
2006
publication – Taonga source: Oticon Foundation

Soundscape: February 2006

Oticon Foundation
1993
publication – Taonga source: National Foundation for Deaf and Hard of Hearing

NFD Communicate: September 1993

National Foundation for Deaf and Hard of Hearing
1976
video – Taonga source: Manawatu Deaf Society

Understand the Silence: A Silent Documentary about the Silent World of Deafness

This documentary was filmed and edited by Joan Bailey and released in 1976. It covers the preparation and running of the St Dominics Gala Day, as well as Manawatu Deaf Club picnics, and the Manawatu Womens Group.
Manawatu Deaf Society