Iowa's Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Program works to ensure that all newborns and toddlers with hearing loss are identified as early as possible and provided with timely and appropriate audiological, educational, medical intervention and family support. The EHDI program is also dedicated to providing unbiased support to families of children who are deaf or hard of hearing.
Based on national statistics, we would expect approximately 120 Iowa children (out of approximately 40,000 births per year) to be born with a permanent hearing loss. Studies show that children who have a hearing loss can have delays in speech, language, cognitive development (thinking) and social and emotional development. If identification of hearing loss does not happen until after six months of age, a child's language skills at age three will be about half those of a child with normal hearing.
Given the serious ramifications of late identification of hearing loss, it is important to perform newborn hearing screening and as soon as possible make diagnostic referrals for infants who do not pass the screening . Because of this, Iowa legislature passed a law (Iowa Code section 135.131)   which requires universal hearing screening of all newborns and infants in Iowa. The law further provides that any birthing hospital, birth center, physician, any facility including Area Education Agencies (AEAs), audiologists and other health care professional are legally required to report to the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) the results of a hearing screen, re-screen, or diagnostic assessment for any child under three years of age.
This website is supported in part by Iowa's Cooperative Agreement for EHDI, UR3/CCU724779-01 with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.