Early Hearing Detection and Intervention
Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) programs exist in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. These programs grew quickly between 1999 and 2002 because of federal legislation that authorized and funded them. Although that law expired in 2002, federal funding to support these programs has continued.
Reauthorization of the EHDI Act
The U.S. Congress is considering a bill that would maintain the provisions of the earlier law and build on its success. In the House this bill is H.R. 1246. The new proposal includes requirements that already exist based on the earlier law. States receiving funds must:
The new proposal and the previous law also include requirements for federal agencies involved in EHDI. When developing EHDI policy and implementing EHDI programs, these agencies are required consult and collaborate with state and local early intervention agencies, consumer groups, educational organizations, deaf and hard of hearing individuals and their families, and professionals who are familiar with the language needs and other needs of deaf and hard of hearing children and their families.
They also require that the early intervention programs for deaf and hard of hearing children and their families offer appropriate services and ensure that families are provided comprehensive information about family support, training, and communication options. They require programs to give families the opportunity to consider the full range of educational and program placements and options for their child.
The new proposal also goes beyond this. It requires the Secretary of Health