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 to ensure that all concerned become aware of the Model and accompanying development.