When we sign ‘Braam’ or ‘Braamfontein’, we do not spell out the word, but rather make use of its SASL sign. But have you ever stopped to think of the meaning of the sign, how it came about that that hand shape would become the official SASL sign for the area?
Ask just about anyone who is Deaf and has had someone help place them in a job, in the last 35 years and ask them who they dealt with, chances are the name Judy Kammeraat will be mentioned. Now for those of you who are able to communicate in SASL, ask yourself what Judy’s sign name is? ‘Braamfontein’, or what is truly the case… ‘Braamfontein’ is “the place of Judy”.
Having worked tirelessly to advance the placement of members of the Deaf community within the very fabric of society, and not only on the fringe, Judy has been vital to developing and creating sustainable work opportunities in roles that make a difference, are long-term career orientated and beneficial to all. Whether you dealt with Judy at eDeaf, Witwatersrand for the Deaf, Colonel Rowland Home for the Deaf and the Deafblind Aged, or at her time at St Vincent School for the Deaf, she will have made an impact on your life.
It is said that if you are a man or women of honour, you are deeply respected. If someone honours you, they recognise and award you for your achievements and what you have done, be it through naming a building, bridge or road after you. As a term, honour has always been a word used to describe men and women of high moral value, those that have achieved greatness and made a true impact.
Judy is one such person, a true woman of honour, and this is why we as the Deaf community honour her by acknowledging the area ‘Braamfontein’ as “the place of Judy”.