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Probes and Tips - August 2009 - Funds to Improve Part C and PartB/619 Early Intervention Screening Practices in Your Community

the National Center for Hearing Assessment and Mangement

This newsletter provides TIPS to enhance your OAE screening and follow-up practices and PROBES about current activities so we can learn from one another's successes and challenges. Check out our website for more helpful resources: www.infanthearing.org/earlychildhood

August, 2009 issue

Tip of the Month


Promote Quality Hearing Screening With Your Local Part C and Part B/619 Early Intervention Programs


If you have experience using OAE hearing screening technology with young children, you can be a valuable resource to your local Part C and Part B/619 early intervention programs.  The current availability of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds to Part C and Part B/619 programs may be an opportunity to improve hearing evaluation and assessment practices within your community.  As you may be aware, Part C and Part B/619 Early Intervention programs across the country are receiving a significant amount of additional funding under the 2009 ARRA.  This is an excellent time for you to contact them and share what you know about the benefits of OAE screening and to encourage them to ensure that quality hearing screening/evaluation are being done for every child entering those programs.

Although Part C and Part B/619 Regulations require that Evaluation and Assessments must include hearing, no guidelines specify how those assessments should be done.  A recent survey of 155 Part C providers from17 states revealed that the most commonly used methods were informal observations of the child's response to sounds/noisemakers and family-completed questionnaires.  Similarly, of the 175 Part B/619 providers in 11 states who responded, 45% reported using subjective methods with the majority of the children enrolled.  Reliance on these outdated, subjective screening methods makes it likely that children with hearing loss will remain unidentified and that they will receive inappropriate services or no services at all. 

Attached to this special issue of Probes and Tips is a two-page document that you might want to use as a part of the conversation you have with your local Part C and Part B/619 staff.  The handout is intended to encourage them to consider their current hearing evaluation and assessment practices and introduces them to a set of potential improvement activities that they could undertake.  NCHAM is one source of potential technical support for these activities; however, you or others you know may also be interested helping to improve early childhood hearing screening/assessment practices within your area.

If you decide to meet with your Part C and Part B/619 counterparts to pursue these ideas, let us know what happens and if we can be of further assistance. 


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Probe of the Month

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