about TXEHDI State Priorities

A system of care. A community of support.


infant girl with hearing aids holds a yellow flower

The goal of EHDI is to maximize linguistic and communicative competence and literacy development for children who are hard of hearing or deaf. To achieve accountability, individual community and state, health and educational programs should assume the responsibility for coordinated, ongoing measurement and improvement of EHDI process outcomes. State and local agencies that are involved in components of an EHDI system should work collaboratively to define their roles, responsibilities, and accountability. (YR 2000 Position Statement, Joint Committee on Infant Hearing)

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 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.

The TXDHH Leadership Council is organized into 3 active Subcommittees to guide their work:

  • Referral, Amplification & Monitoring Protocols and Process (RAMPP)
  • Shared Service Delivery (SSD)
  • Parent Involvement & Family Support (PIFS)

A number of systemic barriers have been identified in the early hearing detection and intervention process and, as a result, the TXDHH LC has outlined ten state priorities targeting key areas of improvement to address through the Texas EHDI Statewide Campaign for 2011 – 2015.

Texas EHDI State Priorities 2011 – 2015

  1. Increase and improve follow-up for infants that require outpatient hearing screening, diagnostics, and referrals to early intervention (ECI & Deaf Education) services.
  2. Increase and improve access to centers of excellence for pediatric audiology services for families with children who are deaf and hard of hearing, providing quality diagnostic audiology assessments, amplification and ongoing monitoring of infants and children regardless of income or geographical barriers.
  3. Increase the number of well-trained pediatric audiologists throughout the state by providing in-service training through a multimedia approach in both metropolitan and rural areas of the state.
  4. Identify resources to assist families in covering the costs for amplification for those infants and children whose insurance does not fully cover the cost as well as for those families whose children do not qualify for Medicaid or CHIP.
  5. Reduce obstacles in referral and delivery of deaf education early intervention services to infants and toddlers so that all eligible babies are receiving appropriate intervention services by or before 6 months of age.
  6. Increase the competency and capacity of early intervention providers to collaborate in ways that contribute to positive change and improvement in the EHDI process, particularly at the early intervention service level for children and families, local service providers, as well as impacting the system as a whole.
  7. Improve services to families by capitalizing on the strengths of each program and overall system, professionals serving in the early intervention arena to build or increase capacity in families through informed choice and further the improvement of the state’s EHDI process.
  8. Develop and/or interconnect with existing parent resources that provide support specific to families of infants and toddlers who are deaf or hard of hearing.
  9. Assess parents’ experiences, satisfaction, perspective, etc. to support continued development of meaningful parent resources.
  10. Improve access, operability, and integration features to streamline data system(s) between EHDI providers and the state as well as across the state agency accountability system [Department of State Health Service – Texas Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Program, the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services – Early Childhood Intervention, and the Texas Education Agency] processes and services.