Hearing Screening Online Training Program

Early identification of children with hearing loss is an important preventive health care service, as the critical time for acquiring language and stimulating auditory pathways is 0 to 6 months. Research indicates that deaf and hard-of-hearing infants who receive intervention by six months of age can develop normal cognitive, social, and language skills. Before newborn hearing screening, deaf and hard-of-hearing children were not identified until an average age of 2.5 years [8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13].

Universal newborn hearing screening is endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics [14] and is considered a standard of care in hospitals. Currently 105 of 111 birthing hospitals in Minnesota are voluntarily screening all newborns for hearing loss, which reaches almost 95 percent of all Minnesota newborns [15]. In comparison, only 40 percent of newborns were screened before the Minnesota Department of Health received federal grant funding for newborn hearing screening in 1999 [16]. As of June 2003 the national average for percentage of newborns screened for hearing is 86.5 percent [17].

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