Carel du Toit Trust plays a critical advocacy role in South Africa, raising the level of awareness about childhood deafness at national and provincial levels and linking our voice to our international partners.  As a member of the President’s advisory committee on Persons with Disabilities, our chair, Dr Diane Bell, carries our views to the highest authorities in South Africa, so that the Carel du Toit Trust is an integral part of lobby for any changes relating to deafness in South Africa.

We have lent our expertise and our voice to the South Africa document resultant from the WHO’s first Global Report on Hearing Loss, released on World Hearing Day, 3 March this year and all the activities at the CDT Centre in support of this.  Dr Diane Bell was also a member of the steering group for the South African launch of the WHO’s World Report, and also serves as a member of the WHOs World Hearing Forum.

We champion the lack of hearing screening particularly amongst poor communities, and our Situational Analysis (now in phase 2) has as its goal to highlight the gaps in this service and to present this information to government, with a solution of bringing Carel du Toit Trust in as a partner to government with a mandated role to effect real change across the hearing healthcare sector.

Our advocacy relating to the absence of live (not driven by artificial intelligence) captioning to support South Africans of all ages with hearing impairment to gain access information, and for students to support their verbal (online or face-to-face) study material, is taking on a practical form as a future CDTT initiative. We believe that it is everyone’s right to enjoy entertainment and captioning makes it possible for all to follow the story line and to be part of mainstream life.

Dr Diane Bell with the President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa and the President’s advisory committee on Persons with Disabilities