Early Hearing Detection & Intervention
One in every 350 babies is born deaf or hard of hearing in Minnesota each year, about 200 total. Ninety percent of these babies are born to parents with typical hearing and most often, they have no experience with hearing loss.
Minnesota Hands & Voices partners with the Minnesota Department of Health and the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) program.
Every newborn is screened for hearing loss prior to hospital discharge. Infants whose screening results indicate more testing is required should receive diagnostic evaluation no later than three months of age and be enrolled in early intervention no later than six months of age. All 50 states and the District of Columbia have Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) laws or voluntary compliance programs that screen hearing.
Early intervention has a positive impact on language and child development. Minnesota’s Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) program ensures that every baby who does not pass hearing screening has timely and appropriate follow-up. If a child is identified with hearing loss, Minnesota’s EHDI program ensures that every baby who requires more testing after hearing screening has timely and appropriate follow-up.
Minnesota Hands & Voices reaches out to every family with a newborn identified with hearing loss through the EHDI program. Many children will become deaf of hard of hearing later in life as well. Every child’s language development and hearing should be monitored to identify the issue as early as possible. Whenever a family learns that their child is deaf or hard of hearing, we make sure they have the support they need and are able to successfully navigate their experience.