Deaf interpreter earns admiration helping others

COLUMBIA, South Carolina (WIS) — As Hurricane Matthew took aim at South Carolina last week, certified deaf interpreter Jason Hurdich stood next to Governor Nikki Haley communicating the crisis as only he could.

He’d been asked to be there by the deaf services coordinator for the state Department of Vocational Rehabilitation.

“She called me to come up for the press conference,” he said through sign language, “because I’m deaf and I can accommodate to the deaf needs, the culture, the language, and meet the needs best for the deaf community.”

Hurdich worked with an off-camera hearing interpreter who translated critical information from Haley and other state leaders. And his animated facial and hand gestures drew instant adoration from viewers of all kinds including from Haley.

Hurdich admitted he was initially nervous with all the cameras on the first day, but he was prepared. Now, he’s become a popular figure no matter where he goes.

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