In 1964, Mr Theodore Blumberg – whose daughter had been diagnosed with severe hearing loss – began a small clinic in East London with the help of a speech therapist, Peta Lewis, who subsequently moved on to Wits University.

Blumberg was determined to pursue a new system of teaching deaf children to speak. This was called the oral method and involved encouraging deaf children to learn to listen and then speak, through a combination of technology and intensive language therapy. Mr Blumberg’s work was supported by Professor Carel du Toit in Cape Town, who was also pursuing the auditory-verbal method and the two became life-long friends. In 1998, the Carel du Toit satellite for the Eastern Cape was established in East London and incorporated the Theodore Blumberg Clinic.

The Carel du Toit Centre East London is the only one of its kind in the Eastern Cape, where children with hearing impairments are taught to speak through the maximum use of hearing technology and the provision of parental guidance and support. At present, 90% of the children at the Centre are fitted with cochlear implants, one child is fitted with hearing aids and two children are language-delayed. Aftercare services are also provided. Our goal is to help our children acquire enough spoken language enabling them to take their place in a hearing world.

The Carel du Toit Centre East London has three classes organised according to the children’s language level. The learners have consultation sessions with Speech Therapists as part of an outreach programme of the Speech and Hearing Clinic at Frere Hospital, and visiting occupational therapists provide guidance to staff.

Monetary donations are welcome and necessary for the daily feeding scheme, purchasing of equipment, as well as salaries and centre running costs.

The Carel du Toit Centre East London was awarded Best ECD Programme for Children and Babies with Disabilities in March 2015 at the NDA ECD National Awards.

The Carel du Toit Trust Cape Town is committed to supporting both East London and Bloemfontein Centres to maintain this service for children in the Eastern Cape and Free State provinces.

Click here to read Carel du Toit East London’s newsletter.

Contact Details:
Paula Kumm
Tel: 043 742 1420