COVID-19 UPDATES: Find news and resources for audiologists, speech-language pathologists, and the public.
Latest Updates | Telepractice Resources | Email Us

House Passes ASHA Supported Newborn Hearing Screening Bill

December 9, 2021

Last night, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a significant bill, supported by ASHA [PDF], that would reauthorize newborn hearing screening programs. The bill now moves to the U.S. Senate for consideration.

The Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) Act [PDF] (H.R. 5561) would reauthorize federally supported state-based newborn hearing screening programs through fiscal year 2026. This legislation includes an ASHA recommended provision that would require a Government Accountability Office study on ways to improve access to and equity in services, and to facilitate follow-up to services among all populations, with a particular focus on underserved racial, ethnic, and rural populations.

As the Senate considers this legislation, ASHA is working with allies to ensure EHDI program funding—which is distributed through the Health Resources and Services Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—is optimized to meet the needs of infants and children who are deaf or hard of hearing, their families, and hearing health care providers.

Contact your Senators and ask them to support critical EHDI funding!

The EHDI program has helped achieve near-universal rates of newborn hearing screening in the United States. According to the CDC, over 98% of infants were screened for hearing loss in 2019. The program also supports resources that help connect families of children who are deaf or hard of hearing to early intervention services, which are crucial for children with hearing loss to meet social, emotional, and linguistic developmental milestones. ASHA continues collaboration with policymakers to identify ways to reduce disparities and improve connection to follow-up early intervention services within the EHDI program.

Questions?
Contact Josh Krantz, ASHA’s director of federal affairs, health care, at jkrantz@asha.org.


ASHA Corporate Partners