Position Statement: Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Reauthorization Act of 2008

AG Bell supports reauthorization of the EHDI Act of 2008 because:

  • Prior to the passage of the original EHDI legislation in 2000, only approximately 45 percent of newborns in the U.S. were screened for hearing loss. Today, more than 95 percent of newborns are screened.
  • According to available evidence-based research, early hearing detection and intervention are essential for the development of listening and spoken language.
  • Continuing newborn hearing screening and closing the gap between diagnosis and intervention are crucial to a listening and spoken language outcome.
  • Research in early hearing detection and intervention should include information related to the acquisition and development of spoken language.
  • Parents should receive information about all communication options in an unbiased manner so they may make an informed choice as soon as possible.
  • As more children with hearing loss are identified and as a growing number of families choose a listening and spoken language outcome, an increased number of qualified service providers are needed.