On March 2, Rep. Capps (D-CA), Rep. Emerson (R-MO), along with Rep. Sutton (D-OH) introduced the EHDI (Early Hearing Detection and Intervention) reauthorization bill, H.R.1246 for the 111th Congress. On March 3, was quickly and unanimously voted out of the House Energy and Commerce Committee with no amendments. Next, it will be scheduled for floor consideration. This is great news for this bill that did not pass in the last session of Congress.
HLAA supports the reenactment of this bill which was first authorized by Congress in 2000.. This legislation helps establish statewide programs across the US to identify children with hearing loss and provide early intervention services. The legislation provides:
- Authority to address the needs of children who are not receiving follow-up after they fail newborn hearing screening
- Provide for family to family support in the first months after a child is identified
- Enable National Institutes on Health (NIH) to establish a post-doctoral research fellowship program to recruit researches to become involved with early hearing detection and intervention
- Provides the authority for state EHDI programs to address the shortage of trained health care professionals and other personnel to make certain that every child who is screened and has a hearing problem gets access to appropriate diagnosis and intervention programs needed to succeed
HLAA is an active member of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Alliance (DHHA) which sent out a letter of support for reauthorization of EHDI on March 2, 2009. HLAA signed onto that letter.