American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

South Carolina 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

Newborn hearing screenings must be conducted during birth admission on all newborns born in hospitals in the state.

Intervention

Every hospital in the state must provide educational information for the parents of newborns born in that hospital concerning the hearing screening procedure and the importance of the screening. Education may not be considered a substitute for the hearing screening.

Newborns referred as a result of the screening process shall receive an audiologic evaluation by an audiologist and a medical evaluation by a physician or otolaryngologist, or both, as indicated.

Newborns and infants referred as a result of the evaluation process shall receive medical intervention, audiologic habilitation, early intervention services, and augmentative hearing devices.

Standards/Protocols

Standards and protocols are not addressed by law/regulations.

Tracking/Reporting

The Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), upon consultation with the South Carolina Health Alliance, shall establish newborn hearing screening reporting procedures which must be followed by hospitals, audiologists, and early interventionists.

The DHEC also shall establish procedures to monitor and measure the effectiveness of newborn and infant hearing screening and intervention and shall report annually to the General Assembly and to participating hospitals.

School-Age Screening

South Carolina does not require school-age hearing screenings, but the DHEC has issued guidelines.

Ages/Populations Screened

Ages and populations screened is not addressed by law/regulations.

Who Can Screen

School nurses, working collaboratively with the school district's audiologists and speech-language pathologists, should organize and implement hearing conservation programs, provide hearing screenings according to the South Carolina DHEC School Screening Recommendations, and provide annual hearing screening evaluations for students receiving special education services.

Training for Screeners

Training for screeners is not addressed by law/regulations.

Type of Testing

Guidelines indicate:

Hearing screenings should be performed using a pure-tone audiometer that has been maintained and calibrated annually according to the manufacturer's guidelines.

Equipment Standards

Guidelines indicate:

Pure-tone audiometers used in school screening programs should meet the standards for screening audiometers established by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI S3.6-1989). Pure-tone audiometers should include, at a minimum, air frequencies of 500, 1000, 2000, and 4000 Hz.

Follow-up Protocols & Documentation

Guidelines indicate:

The student's hearing screening results should be documented in the student's school health record.

The school nurse or other assigned school employee should follow-up with the student's parent or legal guardian to assist with completion of a referral for a professional audiological evaluation. The hearing status of referred students should be confirmed within one month, and no later than three months, after the initial screening.

The school principal, or his/her designee, should be kept abreast of the status of students who were referred for a possible hearing deficiency. In some school districts, it may be appropriate to also notify the Special Services Director/Coordinator for Hearing Services, teacher of the deaf or hard of hearing, school-based audiologist or the speech-language pathologist.

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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