On March 2, Rep. Capps (D-CA), Rep. Emerson (R-MO), along with Rep. Sutton (D-OH) introduced the EHDI (Early Hearing Detection and Intervention) reauthorization bill, H.R.1246 for the 111th Congress. On March 3, was quickly and unanimously voted out of the House Energy and Commerce Committee with no amendments. Next, it will be scheduled for floor consideration. This is great news for this bill that did not pass in the last session of Congress.
In the last 20 years legislation and technology have positively impacted the lives of people with hearing loss, truly “opening the world of communication” to thousands and thousands of children and adults.
One of the most important legislative actions has been the development of the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) Program. Congress first authorized the EHDI programs in 2000. The legislation and subsequent funding Congress provided have helped establish statewide EHDI programs across the United States that are identifying children with hearing loss and directing them to early intervention services.
EHDI programs include screening (the initial test of infants for hearing loss), audiological diagnostic evaluations (to confirm hearing loss), and early intervention (including medical services, early intervention programs, and family support) to enhance language, communication, cognitive and social skill development, needed to be successful in school and all other aspects of life.
When the first legislation was approved in 2000, 44% of newborns were screened for hearing loss. In 2011, almost 98% of all newborns are screened and each year there are thousands of infants with hearing loss and their families who are enjoying the benefits of early identification.
For more information, see: http://kidsandhearingloss.org
Subject: Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI)
On behalf of the member organizations of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Alliance (DIIHA), we write to express strong support for enhancing funding for the early hearing detection and intervention (EHDI) programs within the Maternal and Child Health Block Grants of the Health Resources Services Administration (URSA) and the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).