There are many ways you can volunteer to help keep this archive alive and breathing, and helping make our videos accessible to all New Zealanders by transcripting videos in the SignDNA archive, either voice-overs or sign language, is most definitely one of them!

We believe that SignDNA could be a great tool for linguistic research, as it provides genuine samples of naturally produced language from the 1950s right through to the 1990s. It has been fascinating to see some signs we assumed to be recent additions actually show up in some of the earliest black and white films in the archive. After all even the name of our archive infers its use to research where NZSL has come from! In order to be able to track the use of certain signs more easily, we intend to provide transcripts of the languages used in the videos, so that this can become a searchable item. We therefore welcome an contribution of time to submit a translation in English of what is being signed in each video. This would be a huge help and open up the archive.

Transcription can also come in the form of captioning. We have a number of videos that only contains spoken English, but the content within is relevant to Deaf people (i.e. television news on ‘Deafness Awareness Week’ for example).

Please get in touch with us if you are interested, and able to. We will gladly provide you with some training on how to do this.