Mr Deon de Villiers, NID CEO was invited as a participant to the GREAT Summit and will be providing information about Deaf Accessible Assistive Technology at NID Training, Care and Support Services.  

As an action emanating from the Global priority research agenda to further the aims of GATE, the Global Research, Innovation, and Education in Assistive Technology (GREAT) Summit, as a GATE initiative, will be held on the 3rd – 4th August 2017 at WHO headquarters in Geneva. The Summit will bring together 150 top global researchers, innovators and educators who are carrying out research or offering training programmes related to assistive technology policy, products, personnel, provision and use.


The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that more than one billion people are in need of one or more assistive products. The majority of these are older people and people with disabilities. With populations ageing and a rise in noncommunicable diseases, the number of people needing assistive products is projected to increase to beyond two billion by 2050. However, only one in ten people in need currently have access to assistive technology. Without access, people are often excluded and may be locked into poverty and isolation; increasing the impact of disease and disability on the person, their family and on society as a whole.

The United Nations (UN) has recognized and acknowledged poor access to assistive technology as a critical problem to address. The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities entitles all people to available and affordable assistive technology, and stipulates that states should take effective measures to enable access to such technology. Increasing access to high-quality and affordable medical products, which includes assistive products, is also one of the six leadership priorities of WHO. To address the substantial gap between the need for and provision of assistive technology, WHO established the Global Cooperation on Assistive Health Technology (GATE) in 2014. GATE is an assistive technology stakeholder platform, which aims to improve access to high-quality affordable assistive products as an integral part of responding to the call for access to essential, high-quality, safe, effective and affordable medical products. The GATE initiative has prioritized research and innovation as a key focus area. In order to promote research and innovation, WHO established a core group to identify strategic research priorities for the GATE initiative and called for a GATE Research Group meeting in Budapest in September 2015. The core group members are experts from the Association for the Advancement of Assistive Technology in Europe (AAATE), the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA), Zuyd University of Applied Science, and Trinity College Dublin. The GREAT Summit is a follow-up event to further advance the global research priority agenda.



NID is tans besig met ‘n totale herstruktureringsproses ten einde te verseker dat dienste aan Dowes en persone met gehoorverlies, wat reeds vir 136 jaar gelewer word, voortgesit, verbeter en uitgebrei kan word.

Dit vereis beplanning vir die volgende vyf jaar en daarna, en om in hierdie ekonomiese tye dienste meer effektief maar ook koste-effektief te kan lewer. In hierdie dienslewering speel al NID se vennote, van individue, kerke, gemeentes, besighede, organisasies en maatskappye ‘n baie belangrike rol. Sonder vriende en betrokke vennote is hierdie werk nie moontlik nie.

NID moes ernstig besin of dit ekonomies volhoubaar is om twee klein ouetehuise te bedryf in plaas van ‘n enkele groter een, en gevolglik gaan die Rusoord afdeling, wat geleë is in Bellville, se inwoners verskuif word na ons Shalom fasiliteit by NID. Hierdie verskuiwing sal vanaf 1 April plaasvind. Sodoende word sekere risikos uitgeskakel en beter dienslewering aan Dowes verseker.
So gaan die opleiding van Dowe leraars voort op kampus in noue samewerking met NID en die Worcester De la Bat Gemeente vir Dowes, maar gaan die bestuur en akkreditasie voortaan onder Hugenote Kollege, wat spesialiseer in opleiding van geestelike werkers, resorteer.

NID bedank hiermee elkeen wat op verskillende maniere en wyses betrokke was en is vir die moontlik maak van die werk deur NID. Ons nooi ook elkeen wat betrokke kan en wil wees om ons te kontak. Helen Keller het tereg gesê “together we can do so much more”.


NID is currently in the process of restructuring in order to ensure that services to the Deaf and persons with hearing loss, which have been offered for more than 136 years, can be continued, improved and expanded.

It requires planning for the next five years and onwards, and making it possible to render services more effectively but also cost-effectively within the reigning economic circumstances.  In the delivery of these services, all of NID’s partners – individuals, churches, congregations, businesses, organisations and companies, play a very important part.  Without friends and engaged partners, this work would not be possible.

NID had to seriously consider the economic sustainability of operating two smaller old age homes instead of a single, bigger one, and therefore the residents of the Rusoord unit in Bellville will be relocated to our Shalom facility at the NID campus starting 1 April 2017.  By doing so, certain risks are being eliminated and the rendering of services to the Deaf ensured.

Furthermore, the training of Deaf ministers will continue on campus in close conjunction with NID and the De la Bat Congregation for the Deaf, but in future the management and accreditation thereof will be resorting under the Huguenot College, which specialises in the training of ministry.

NID thanks each and every person that has been, and still is involved, by whatever means or manner, for making the work of NID possible.  We also invite anyone who can or want to be involved to contact us.  Helen Keller rightly stated:  “together we can do so much more”.