Fanie du Toit lost his hearing in 1977 as a result of acoustic trauma in the SA Army. Please click on Digital Resources to read more about his life story. There are also two soundtracks in Afrikaans that you can listen to – it gives the listener an idea of the almost 30 year journey he and his family have travelled with hearing loss.

Fanie and Francis Slabber (an audiologist from Cape Town) crossed paths seven years ago in Worcester. Both of them nurtured a dream for a more holistic approach towards the integration of those with hearing loss and consideration for their functional needs and potential, including the identification of various role players in this process.

Over the years, Fanie and Francis developed the Road to Independence Model together, a Model wherein 20 Key Areas are identified that together and in a multi-disciplinary way, provide solutions to reasonably accommodate persons affected by hearing loss. This approach is 100% in line with the Social Model on Disability as described in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and South African legislation. The Road to Independence Model includes a Protocol for identifying the functional needs of the post-lingual deaf and/or hearing impaired adult, which must be signed by those who endorse this initiative. This project is unique and authentically South African.

Du Toit and Slabber offer South African Health Professions Council’s (SAHPC) accredited workshops in consultation with NCPD, to ensure that all concerned become aware of the Model and accompanying development.


  • Road to Independence does not sell products.
  • It does not promote any specific hearing aids, makes, models or brands and it does not promote any specific suppliers or assistive devices.
  • It sells information and training.
  • It is in the pursuit of providing information to the professional dealing with the individual adult living with hearing loss as well as to the individuals themselves.
  • It is autonomous and endeavors only to provide information relating to it’s 20 listed areas of interest to those in need of it and to refer the individual to those who can support them specifically in what help they require to get them back on their road to independence.
  • No private advertisers or providers will be listed or referred to unless they provide a specific service which will relate to one of the 20 listed areas of interest.
  • Information is provided as it is sourced and it has no obligation to any of its founders, advertisers or supporters.
  • Marketing space is sold on the website to those who endorse the project and to those who either provide specific applicable services or can show that they too endeavor to improve the quality of life of the adult living with hearing loss.

Available Networks

Details of Professionals trained by Road to Independence in the application of the RTI Protocol and/or sensitized individuals and organizations are available from fanie@roadtoindependence.co.za. Professionals from the following disciplines have been trained or sensitized thus far:


Occupational Therapists

Social Workers

Representatives from the Disability Sector

Speech Therapists

Occupational Health Consultants

NGO Representatives

Governmental Depts

Sensitised Private & Public Companies

helpiconIf you are able to contribute in any way to the continued training of these professionals and thereby enable them to provide this much needed service into the community, please contact Fanie via the contact page on this site.