April 9, 2012
New early hearing detection and intervention website provides tools for parents, providers, others to help improve outcomes for children
The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has launched a new website that provides resources for parents, providers and other professionals about Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) for infants and children. The site is www.improveehdi.org/mn.
Parents of children who may develop hearing loss or who have confirmed hearing loss will be able to learn about the EHDI process, find materials that will guide them through identification and intervention, and find hearing specialists and education resources in their area. In addition, the site contains information to help link parents with family and community resources available locally.
Providers will find materials about best practices, tips to improve screening processes, supports for children with hearing loss, and training materials.
Community support networks will find materials to help link families to providers, specialists, and resources.
The site is a joint venture of the National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management, MDH's Newborn Screening Program and Children and Youth with Special Health Needs program and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services EHDI program. One aim of this collaborative effort is to provide a central website for all state EHDI programs, although currently only Minnesota and Wisconsin have active improveehdi.org websites.
"We believe that, among its benefits, this website will enhance interstate efforts to coordinate care of ‘border babies,' a significant issue for Minnesota and Wisconsin," said Minnesota Health Commissioner Dr. Edward Ehlinger. Also, newborn hearing screening information was previously split into two separate MDH websites. The new site eliminates that source of confusion for parents, providers, and others seeking information about hearing screening.
Minnesota's EHDI website, www.improveehdi.org/mn, was presented with the 2012 EHDI Website of the Year award at the Eleventh Annual EHDI Meeting in St. Louis, Missouri. All state EHDI websites were reviewed by a panel of parents, EHDI coordinators, chapter champions, and others to select the best website based on quality content, user friendliness, and accessibility. Check the site often as MDH will continue to add materials to make the site more useful for parents, providers, and educators working in Early Hearing Detection and Intervention.
Newborn Screening supervisor