Florida Newborn Hearing Screening Program and Early Hearing Detection and Intervention
The Florida Newborn Hearing Screening Program, also known as the EHDI Program, in conjunction with the Newborn Screening Program and Early Steps Program, supports a comprehensive statewide hearing screening and follow up referral system.
Hearing loss is one of the most common birth defects in the United States, with approximately 2 newborns per 1,000 born with hearing loss each year. The goal of early detection and intervention is to improve communication, education, and overall social development for children who are deaf or hard of hearing.
Most states require universal newborn hearing screening (see the Florida Statutes).
The Florida EHDI Program is responsible for:
- Collecting hearing screening data from hospitals and birth centers;
- Following up with parents and health care providers of newborns who do not pass the initial hearing screening;
- Collecting and monitoring diagnostic hearing evaluations;
- Referring babies diagnosed with hearing loss to early intervention programs for ages 0-3;
- Providing technical assistance and training to hospitals, audiologists, and primary care physicians on:
- Best practices for newborn hearing screenings;
- Audiology support and resources; and
- Timely and accurate screening and diagnostic reporting.