The Texas Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) Statewide Campaign, established in 2009, is designed to raise awareness of the prevalence of early childhood hearing loss and improve parents’ understanding of the medical, audiology, early intervention and family support services that are available to them to support their child’s development. The Statewide Campaign is also designed to improve EHDI providers’ knowledge and skills and their procedural practices to ensure families’ have access to relevant services and support within the EHDI system. The Statewide Campaign puts forward the idea that strengthening the EHDI system is a unified effort that involves everyone –state agencies, community partners, local EHDI providers from newborn hearing screening, medical, audiology, early intervention and family support service realms, to families themselves, the deaf and hard of hearing community, and the greater community of Texans. There’s a place for everyone in Texas EHDI!
Together we are A System of Care. A Community of Support.
Early hearing detection and intervention involves the screening of all newborns’ hearing at birth and outpatient hearing rescreen by or before one month of age for those babies who do not pass the birth screen. Those children who do not pass the outpatient rescreen are to receive a diagnostic evaluation by a licensed audiologist by or before three months of age. Those children who refer on either an outpatient screen (where a diagnostic evaluation by a licensed audiologist is recommended) or those children who refer based on a confirmed hearing loss following a diagnostic evaluation by a licensed audiologist must be referred to Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) for early intervention services. And in Texas, early intervention services are coordinated and delivered by early intervention providers in both ECI and deaf educators through Regional Day School Programs for the Deaf (RDSPDs)or local school districts, overseen by the Texas Education Agency. Implementing Texas’ 1-3-6 EHDI Provider Referral Protocol involves a host of providers from diverse disciplines; however the responsibility of implementing an effective, seamless service system is shared by three state agencies. These state agencies have specific oversight and management responsibilities to ensure families have access to timely and appropriate resources and services as they navigate the early hearing detection and intervention process in Texas.
In November 2006, the Texas Deaf & Hard of Hearing Leadership Council: Birth – 3 (TXDHH Leadership Council) was formed through a partnership between the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and the ESC State Leadership Office for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services: Birth – 5, Region 10 Education Service Center. At the time of its formation, the TXDHH Leadership Council was aligned with the JCIH YR 2000 Position Statement recommendations and has evolved to reflect the priorities outlined in the JCIH YR 2007 Position Statement.
In 2014, TEA began restructuring and/or consolidating state leadership assignments for all programs and services at the ESC level. Prior to this time, the ESC State Leadership Offices for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services were managed through ESC 10 (Birth – 5), 11 (Communication Access) and 20 (Instructional Programs). During the restructuring phase it was determined that due to the vast responsibilities for state leadership in the area of communication access, ESC 11 would be the natural fit to assume all state leadership responsibilities in a consolidated effort, which included ESC state leadership for deaf and hard of hearing services for children, birth – 5. ESC 11 now serves as the ESC state lead for all deaf education services in Texas.