WASHINGTON, DC — Following the lead of the US Senate, which passed the legislation on September 7th, the House passed the bipartisan Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Act on October 3rd. The legislation, sponsored by Reps. Brett Guthrie (R-KY) and Doris Matsui (D-CA), would reauthorize EHDI programs for the next five years.
According to the American Academy of Audiology (AAA), after the legislation was first approved in 2000, the number of newborns screened for hearing loss in the US increased from 44 percent to greater than 97 percent.
“Detecting hearing loss early is critical to ensuring that newborns, infants, toddlers, and young children are able to access appropriate intervention programs in a timely manner. The Academy commends Congress for acting to reauthorize EHDI, and we eagerly await President Trump’s signature on this important piece of legislation.” –AAA President Jackie Clark, PhD
The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) echoed the sentiments:
“The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association is pleased that the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) legislation has passed in the House and Senate and is headed to the president’s desk. We are grateful for the efforts of Senators Portman and Kaine as well as Congressmen Guthrie and Matsui in promoting this legislation. The EHDI program has been successful in ensuring hearing screening at birth for more than 97 percent of all newborns. This legislation will build on the success of the program and place more emphasis on ensuring that those identified with a hearing loss receive the care they need.” –ASHA President Gail Richard, PhD
Following the passage in the House and Senate, the measure is now headed to the president’s desk for his signature.
*Featured image courtesy Flickr