Co-Director, Merge NZ Ltd
Student, Bachelor of Arts in Education and Business Management
She would love to reform the current Deaf Education system, says Victoria Lessing who is studying a Bachelor of Arts in Education and Business Management.
“I’d like to get actively involved in the education system and normalise Sign Language in New Zealand, so Deaf children will have a better education with a full team of fluent New Zealand Sign Language teachers and New Zealand Sign Language models, and can build a strong foundation of Deaf identity and Deaf culture.
“I chose to study the Bachelor of Arts because I know it helps me grow and prosper in my everyday life at home, my community and my business,” says Victoria, who has been Deaf her whole life and has spent the last 20 years raising the profile of New Zealand Sign Language.
Taking on new challenges
She enjoys the challenges her studies offer.
“What I’ve enjoyed most about my studies is getting myself into new challenges to expand my understanding and knowledge. It’s a great way to bring my perspective as a Deaf person to AUT and share my own experience with others.”
She would highly recommend the Bachelor of Arts, Victoria says.
“AUT is a great place to study and it’s great for your personal and professional development. AUT has a great community you can get involved with, as well supportive lecturers and other staff.”
The support to succeed
AUT has excellent services for Deaf people, Victoria says.
“English is not my first language – New Zealand Sign Language is my preferred language – and AUT fully understands that and has supported me if I wished to submit an essay in New Zealand Sign Language or needed extra time to complete my assignment or essay.”
AUT’s Disability Support team has supported her all the way from day one until today, she says.
“I appreciate that AUT has provided New Zealand Sign Language interpreters and notetakers to help me succeed. There was no day that the interpreter or notetaker missed a class, and I was fully informed in all lectures, classes and other activities.”