Arizona EHDI Program: Introduction
Review sample policies, procedures and competency guidelines that align with JCIH Guidelines.
Assure follow-up with a few key data-collection and communication tools.
See how the collaboratives used improvement tools to test steps of change within their organizations.
Closing the Follow-up Gap: Arizona EHDI Program
Arizona Hearing Screening History
Newborn Hearing Screening in Arizona began with the Never Too Young (NTY) program in 1985. NTY supported screening children with risk factors for hearing loss. By 1993 it was recognized that half of the babies born with hearing loss had no risk factors and the national move towards universal newborn hearing screening began. New technology made if faster and easier to screen all babies and new research was showing that age of identification of hearing loss was a significant factor in speech and language abilities for children with hearing loss. The NTY evolved into the Arizona Early Hearing Detection and Intervention program (AzEHDI). By 2000 all birthing hospitals in Arizona were screening for hearing loss. In 2005 the current law was passed creating the follow-up program. The goals of the program within the Department of Health Services were to:
- Include parents and professionals on an advisory panel
- Educate parents, health care professionals and the public about early hearing detection and intervention
- Mandate reporting of screening and diagnostic testing
- Institute a centralized system of tracking and follow up to support parents in connecting with screening, diagnostic services and early intervention
Today 98% of all babies born in Arizona are screened for hearing loss by one month of age and 97% of babies are screened nationally. The average age of identification of hearing loss was two years of age. Now, with the goals of AzEHDI in place, the average is less than six months of age. New generations of children who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing have a greater opportunity to meet their full potential.
Arizona EHDI Strategic Priorities
Arizona EHDI will strive to:
- Be a multi-disciplined, culturally sensitive, innovative and cohesive team.
- Provide comprehensive and diverse support to families, providers and community partners.
- Engage families as equal partners.
- Ensure that all children have equal access to communication and language as early as possible.
- Advance best practice through evidence-based research and process improvement.
- Infuse evaluation and sustainability into every aspect of program development.
- Eliminate financial barriers to accessing services and supports for families.
- Offer parent-to-parent support throughout the screening, diagnostic and intervention process.
- Be a self -sufficient, sustainable program.