American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

District of Columbia Hearing Screening Requirements for Newborns and School-Aged Children

The following information summarizes hearing screening programs for newborns and school-aged children.

The information has been collected by researching individual state statutes, regulations, policy documents, and by contacting each state. The information is reviewed on an annual basis. Please be advised that regulations and policy may change at any time, so always check with your state for the most up-to-date information.

Newborn Screening

Screening

Each hospital and maternity center in the District of Columbia shall establish a newborn hearing screening program to ensure that all newborns in the hospital or maternity center are screened for hearing impairment before discharge. Newborn hearing screening may be performed by any of the following:

  1. An audiologist;
  2. An otolaryngologist;
  3. A neonatal nurse appropriately trained to perform hearing screening and under supervision by an audiologist or otolaryngologist;
  4. A hospital technician appropriately trained to perform hearing screening and under supervision by an audiologist or otolaryngologist; or
  5. A hospital volunteer appropriately trained to perform hearing screening and under supervision by an audiologist or otolaryngologist.

Intervention

Before discharging the newborn, each institution shall do the following:

  1. Provide the newborn's parents with oral information and written materials that describe the benefits and purpose of hearing screening, the procedures used for hearing screening, and the consequences of hearing loss;
  2. Provide the newborn's parents with oral and written information about whether it performed a hearing screening on the newborn;
  3. After performing the hearing screening, provide the newborn's parents, the newborn's primary care provider, if known, and the Perinatal and Infant Health Bureau of the Department of Health, or its successor, with oral and written results of the hearing screening; and
  4. After performing the hearing screening, recommend to the newborn's parents and the newborn's primary care provider, if known, appropriate follow-up testing and treatment that may be necessary.

An institution that completes a newborn hearing screening and finds that the newborn did not pass the screening shall provide the newborn's parents, the Department of Health, and the newborn's primary care provider, if known, with written results of the screening, recommended diagnostic procedures, and resources available for newborns with hearing impairment.

Standards/Protocols

The screening program shall consist of at least one of the following tests:

  1. Auditory brain stem response;
  2. Otoacustic emissions; or
  3. Other appropriate nationally recognized, objective physiological screening test.

Tracking/Reporting

After performing the hearing screening, provide the newborn's parents, the newborn's primary care provider, if known, and the Perinatal and Infant Health Bureau of the Department of Health, or its successor, with oral and written results of the hearing screening.

School-Age Screening

District of Columbia laws/regulations do not require school-age hearing screenings.

Resources

For further information on hearing screening requirements, visit these websites:

Questions regarding state advocacy issues? Call ASHA at 800-498-2071 and ask for the State Advocacy Team.

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