Oklahoma 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.
Every infant born shall be screened for the detection of congenital or acquired hearing loss prior to discharge from the facility where the infant was born.
The hospital personnel, audiologist, or primary care physician involved in the screening of a newborn will provide the parents with appropriate resource information to allow them to receive the medical, audiologic, and other follow-up services as necessary.
The physiologic screening will include the use of at least one of the following:
- Auditory Brainstem Response Testing (ABR);
- Otoacoustic Emissions Testing (OAE);
- Any new or improved techniques deemed appropriate for use in hearing screening procedures by the Commissioner of Health.
The hospital personnel, audiologist, or primary care physician involved in the initial Hearing Screening Procedure of a newborn will forward results to the Oklahoma State Department of Health in a manner and time frame deemed appropriate by the Oklahoma State Department of Health.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health will utilize a tracking system to track infants identified at risk for hearing loss for a period up to one year in order to assure appropriate follow-up care.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health will compile and report data collected from hearing screening procedures at least annually and will share such information as directed by the Commissioner of Health.
Oklahoma laws/regulations do not require school-age hearing screenings, however, the Department of Health has issued guidelines.
- Children should be screened at any time concern is expressed regarding ability to hear.
- Children three years of age through grade three should be screened annually.
- Children in grade 4 and above should be screened minimally at three year intervals (grades 6, 9, and 12).
- Children who are "at risk" in grade 4 and above should be screened annually.
Who Can Screen
Hearing screening programs should be conducted or supervised by a certified audiologist. Audiologists, speech-language pathologists, and nurses by training are qualified to provide hearing screening.
Training for Screeners
After appropriate instruction, other professional staff and non-professional support personnel may provide hearing screening. These individuals must be supervised with their supervision preferably provided by an audiologist.
Type of Testing
The recommended equipment used to screen children age three and above is the pure tone audiometer.
Each audiometer must be serviced and calibrated yearly.
Follow-up Protocols & Documentation
If the child does not pass the screening, he should be rescreened prior to referral. Ideally, rescreening should be performed within the same screening session, but at least within a two week period. If a second screening is not passed, the child should be referred to the appropriate health professional for further evaluation.
Caregivers of children who do not pass the hearing screening must be informed of the results. Notification should be in writing. Telephone notification may be appropriate provided that written confirmation follows.
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.