4 – Dr David McKee // Profile


David McKee, originally American, is deaf and master English, American Sign Language (ASL) and New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL).
He passed his Bachelor of Arts in Gallaudet University, Washington D.C., his Master of Arts in California State University Northridge (CSUN) and his PhD in Pittsburgh University. Then, he taught and conducted research in USA about the deaf studies.
In 1992, he and his wife, Rachel Locker McKee, came in New Zealand to establish and teach New Zealand’s first full-time sign language interpreter training course at Auckland University of Technology.
Now he’s acquired New Zealand nationality, and teaches the Certificate in Deaf Sudies : Teaching NZSL, and introductory NZSL courses (Introduction to NZSL, Elementary and Intermediate NZSL). He also became Research Director of Deaf studies research unit and Senior Lecturer in Applied Linguistics at Victoria University, Wellington.
His main research field is the corpus-based description of NZSL, NZSL socio-linguistic variations and lexicography, and comparative studies of ASL, BSL (British Sign Language) and NZSL. He was consulting editor for the Concise Dictionary of New Zealand Sign Language (Bridget Williams Books, 2002).
He’s also a member of the NZSL Tutors Association, the Deaf History International, and the Wellington Deaf Society.
I met him in Wellington, where he had kindly accepted to give me an interview about New Zealand Sign Language and the Deaf situation in New Zealand. The meeting went really well as Mr McKee was keen on telling me about his own experience in relation to NZSL and as a naturalized New Zealander, who totally feels part of this country and does his best to improve the deaf situation and their political relationships with the NZ government. He’s a real inspiration for all deaf people, interpreters and teachers by his perseverence to raise awareness about New Zealand Deaf situation and specific needs.
Read his interview about NZSL and the current situation of the deaf on this website, and the article about NZSL history to fully understand his important part in it.
For further information :
Gallaudet University
800 Florida Avenue NE,
Washington, DC 20002, USA
Victoria University, Wellington
PO Box 600
Wellington 6140
New Zealand
Auckland University of Technology, Auckland
Postal address :
AUT University
Private Bag 92006
Auckland 1142
New Zealand

Phone: +64 9 921 9999
Fax: +64 9 921 9812
Physical address (city campus) :
Building WA – level 2
55 Wellesley Street East
Auckland Central
Auckland City 1010
New Zealand

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