EHDI stands for early hearing detection and intervention. It is a program that identifies children/infants with hearing loss and directs them to early intervention services1. The good news is reauthorization for this program through 2026 has been cleared by both the House and the Senate1. Currently, all U.S. states and territories have established an EHDI program2. This program is a lot newer than you may think; so, when did this all start? It seems the discussion around infant screening/testing started in 1960 with the idea of using the startle response3. In fact, the NCHAM (National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management) book3 states, “Indeed, progress in finding accurate and feasible methods for identifying infants and young children who were DHH was painfully slow during the next 25 years.”
As a matter of fact, 2000 is when congress first authorized EHDI programs4. Prior to this, less than 10% of newborns were screened for hearing loss4. According to the CDC, as of 2020, more than 98% of newborns are screened for hearing loss in the U.S.5! What a huge improvement in these last 22 years. What does all this mean? Anyone can suffer from hearing loss, even from birth. It’s important to not only get tested but also to receive treatment.
Special thanks to Elizabeth Grady for sharing this topic and article with us! Elizabeth leads our front office team!
1 Tran, B. (2022, December 7). EHDI Reauthorization Legislation Clears House and Senate. The American Academy of Audiology. Retrieved December 12, 2022, from https://www.audiology.org/ehdi-reauthorization-legislation-clears-house-and-senate/
2 State by state EHDI and newborn hearing screening information: NCHAM. State by State EHDI and Newborn Hearing Screening Information | NCHAM. (n.d.). Retrieved December 12, 2022, from https://www.infanthearing.org/states_home/
3 Chapter 1. (n.d.). Retrieved December 12, 2022, from https://infanthearing.org/ehdi-ebook/2015_ebook/1b-Chapter1EvolutionEHDI2015.pdf
4 Early hearing detection and intervention act (EHDI). Hearing Loss Association of America. (2021, August 18). Retrieved December 12, 2022, from https://www.hearingloss.org/programs-events/advocacy/know-your-rights-archived/early-hearing-detection-intervention-act-ehdi/
5 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022, September 29). 2020 summary of hearing screening among total occurent births. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved December 12, 2022, from https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/hearingloss/2020-data/02-screen.html