Early Hearing Detection Bill Introduced A bill to reauthorize early hearing detection and intervention (EHDI) programs is under consideration in the U.S. House of Representatives. Rep. Jim Walsh (R-NY) and 28 co-sponsors introduced H.R. 5250, the EHDI Act of 2006. The legislation builds on a 1999 newborn hearing screening and intervention law to help develop ... Policy Analysis
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Policy Analysis  |   June 01, 2006
Early Hearing Detection Bill Introduced
Author Notes
  • Jim Potter, ASHA’s director of government relations and public policy, can be reached at jpotter@asha.org
    Jim Potter, ASHA’s director of government relations and public policy, can be reached at jpotter@asha.org×
Article Information
Regulatory, Legislative & Advocacy / Policy Analysis
Policy Analysis   |   June 01, 2006
Early Hearing Detection Bill Introduced
The ASHA Leader, June 2006, Vol. 11, 1-27. doi:10.1044/leader.PA2.11082006.1
The ASHA Leader, June 2006, Vol. 11, 1-27. doi:10.1044/leader.PA2.11082006.1
A bill to reauthorize early hearing detection and intervention (EHDI) programs is under consideration in the U.S. House of Representatives. Rep. Jim Walsh (R-NY) and 28 co-sponsors introduced H.R. 5250, the EHDI Act of 2006. The legislation builds on a 1999 newborn hearing screening and intervention law to help develop more effective EHDI models and programs.
The bill will address:
  • follow-up for newborns who fail the hearing screening

  • family support programs for children newly identified with hearing loss

  • a postdoctoral EHDI fellowship program at the National Institutes of Health

  • access to appropriate and timely diagnosis and early intervention services

In a complementary action, ASHA has announced a new five-year national effort for programs to diagnose and provide early intervention services for 90% of children with hearing loss by the time they are six months old. This follows a 2000 campaign when the Association set the goal to screen at least 90% of newborns for hearing loss by one month of age. That goal was achieved in 2005.
“We must embark on a new five-year campaign to diagnose and provide appropriate early intervention services for children with hearing loss by six months of age,” said ASHA President Alex Johnson.
“The impact of delayed detection and intervention can last a lifetime,” he added. “When hearing loss is found early, intervention and treatment can produce dramatic improvements in a child’s speech and language development by school age.”
Rep. Walsh also introduced the Newborn Infant Hearing Screening and Intervention Act, which was incorporated into Title VI of the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Act of 1999 and signed into law. The same legislation was included in the Children’s Health Act of 2000.
ASHA worked with Walsh, along with Reps. John Porter (R-IL), Dave Obey (D-WI), and Sens. Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Arlen Specter (R-PA), to shepherd the original legislation through Congress in 1999. The law created a comprehensive federal effort to assist states in establishing EHDI programs to detect hearing loss in newborns and to promote appropriate early intervention services when hearing loss is identified.
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FROM THIS ISSUE
June 2006
Volume 11, Issue 8