Stichting Plotsdoven (the association of the sudden and late deafened) had sent the invitation to the Nordic countries, the USA, Europe and others.
Kalle Tervaskari, Liisa Sammalpenger and I attended the congress, which took place on Landgoed Zonheuvel, Amersfoortseweg 98, 3941EP Doorn, March 22nd, 23 rd & 24 th 2019.
There was 150 participants, of them 25 from abroad and 20 terps (interpreters).
March 23rd 2019 was the 30th anniversary of the association of the sudden and late deafened (Stichting Plots- en Laatdoven).
Of course, such a memorable day should not go by unnoticed. After celebrating our 25th anniversary by organizing a very successful international congress, they decided they could do the same, but then even better, for our 30thanniversary!
This time the congress theme was ‘Let’s connect’.
The theme ‘Let’s connect’ has been chosen because it refers to the fact that many hearing people are hesitant in communicating with deaf people. The question we want to ask ourselves is: What can we do to change this for the better? The ‘Let’s connect’ campaign will be launched at the congress and will continue for two years.
The committee for the congress consisted of: Robert ten Bloemendal, Lex Scheffel, Arianne de Man, Georgia van der Gen and Gerard de Vijlder. They have chosen to offer a varied program that deals with various topics of interest.

 There were four key topics:

• technology and development
• ethics, medical perspectives
• art and creativity
• role models and advocacy

These topics were presented by several speakers that came from the Netherlands but also from other countries across the globe. Kalle and Liisa had their Finnish / English writing STT reporters with and I my Danish writing interpreters with.
At dinner we had the writing interpreters and Ipad at the table, so we could better communicate with each other. It was a positive experience.

Friday morning opening by H.R.H Princess of Holland, Margriet. Later she walked to the foyer, where five or six sudden or late deafened people would join her for a cup coffee and discussion of the subject.

I chose some presentations:

Friday:
– Connect and Communicate: “how we do it” by Sue Archbold, England.
– Sudden deafness by Jef Mulder, Ent doctor, Netherland
Friday night EFHOH LD – workgroup (Late deafened workgroup) had a meeting one hour. Liisa and I attended the meeting. It was very good, because we saw each other – face to face – and could better understand it by talking together

Saturday:
– Creative arts/painting by Antonia Lindsey, USA
– Experiencing music with a CI by Joke Veltman, Netherland
– Hearing with a cochlear implant, by Ds Peter Paul Boermans, audiologist, Netherland
– Spinning the plates by Karen Puts and Tina Gonzales, USA.

On Saturday there was an exquisite dinner followed by an exciting evening-long program.
– We saw the sand princess drawing on sand on a glass plate with light underneath while listening to music.
– The Dutch song choir using sign language, called signing shoes, was among the artists that night. It was very beautiful.
– Later there was karaoke – the leading karaoke app that allows you and your friends to sing karaoke for free. Sing on millions of karaoke songs, with music.

Sunday:
– Personal trainer/relaxation in nature by Robin Frings
– Closing of the Congres by Gerard de Vijlder, chairman of the organization committee.

Sunday afternoon we were on a cultural tour. The exact location was a surprise and it was the Kröller-Müller Museum, home to the world’s largest private collection of Van Gogh’s and one of Europe’s largest sculpture gardens.

Written by Trine L. Gaarsdahl, DK, chairman of VDNR.