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Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) Act

Originally enacted in 2000, the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) Act provides funding for early hearing detection and intervention programs nationwide. The goal of the EHDI program is to indentify hearing loss at an early age, and to provide early intervention to ensure every child develops communication and social skills commensurate with their cognitive abilities.

To ensure every child is screened for hearing loss, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and other supporting organizations developed a list of seven goals to ensure success with the EHDI program.

The first three goals are frequently referred to as the 1-3-6 plan:

  • Goal 1: All newborns will be screened for hearing loss before 1 month of age, preferably before hospital discharge.
  • Goal 2: All infants who screen positive will have a diagnostic audiological evaluation before 3 months of age.
  • Goal 3: All infants identified with a hearing loss will receive appropriate early intervention services before 6 months of age.

The rest of the goals are guidelines for EHDI programs to follow:

  • Goal 4: All infants and children with late onset, progressive or acquired hearing loss will be identified at the earliest possible time.
  • Goal 5: All infants with hearing loss will have a medical home.
  • Goal 6: Every state will have a complete EHDI tracking and surveillance system that will minimize loss to follow-up.
  • Goal 7: Every state will have a comprehensive system that monitors and evaluates the progress towards the EHDI Goals and Objectives.

For more information about hearing screening and the next step of early intervention services, visit the National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management website.