Recipient of National order, Braam Jordaan hopes to launch a video interpreting service for the deaf community

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Braam Jordaan, a member of the deaf community and a recipient of the 2019 National Baobab order in Silver has his eyes set on launching a video interpreting service.     

“My dream is for South Africa to have video interpreting services where deaf and hearing people can communicate and have an interpreter that is present in real time. I wish to launch that in South Africa,” he told News24 at the Sefako Magkatho Presidential Guesthouse in Tshwane on Thursday.

Jordaan says similar services have been successful in countries, such as the United States and Europe. 

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The National Orders are the highest awards that South Africans can receive. The president bestows a national order upon a South African citizen or member of the international community who has contributed towards making South Africa a democratic and successful country.

Jordaan received the award for his efforts in raising awareness on the importance of sign language and the human rights of people from the deaf community around the world through his colourful films and books.

The Baobab is awarded to South African citizens for distinguished services in the fields of business and the economy, science, medicine, technological innovation and community service.

“I feel good about this award because South Africa has very few deaf people who are given the opportunity to achieve. South African sign language is a beautiful language and South African deaf people have a lot of skills that they can give to the community.

“When I first found out (about the National Order), I thought: ‘Wow the President has actually asked me to come for this award. It shows me that the deaf community can move forward and we can achieve,” he added.

Jordaan, who was born deaf to deaf parents in Benoni, South Africa, has over 30 major international awards to his name for his film and animation work.

His most well known work is tiled “The Rubbish Monster” for which he received 12 awards internationally.

Jordaan has also published three children’s books through the Cambridge University Press, become a representative of the World Federation of the Deaf and often works with the United Nations.

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