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Early Hearing Detection & Intervention (EHDI) Program

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EHDI and CDC Overview

National EHDI GoalsFrequently Asked Questions | Annual EHDI Data

  • EHDI (Early Hearing Detection and Intervention) programs are located in states and territories and are designed to identify infants with hearing loss.

  • Infants identified with hearing loss can then be enrolled in an early intervention program.

  • Early intervention programs are designed to help infants and children develop communication skills needed to do well academically and socially. Communication skills can be learned through visual language, spoken language, or both.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) EHDI program: 

  1. Collaborates with federal, national, and state agencies and organizations in assisting states and territories to develop and implement EHDI programs.

  2. Assists states in building EHDI data and surveillance systems to improve their capacity to ensure that all infants are screened for hearing loss and receive appropriate follow-up services.

  3. Supports research efforts to:

    - Identify causes of hearing loss
    - Determine developmental outcomes and family issues
    - Collect Information on referral rates from EHDI programs
    - Assess the effectiveness and cost of EHDI programs

  4. Uses information gained through the EHDI surveillance systems to find new, preventable causes of hearing loss.

  5. Maintains an information clearinghouse on issues related to EHDI that will be available through the CDC EHDI web site and bi-monthly teleconferences.

To ensure that all newborns have the opportunity to communicate from birth, the CDC's EHDI program is a part of  continuing national efforts to promote: 

  • The early detection of hearing loss.

  • The tracking of infants/children who are deaf or hard of hearing.

  • The initiation of effective intervention systems. 

Find out more about the history of newborn screening


EHDI programs:

  • Are implemented at the state level with collaboration and support from federal, state, and private organizations, and

  • Identify up to 3 infants per 1,000 births with moderate to profound bilateral hearing loss. 

EHDI programs are characterized by three main components:

  • Screening (the initial test of infants for hearing loss) 

  • Audiologic evaluation (to confirm hearing loss)

  • Early intervention (including medical treatment, early intervention services and family support) to enhance communication, thinking, and behavioral skills needed to achieve academic and social success.   

Parents Please Remember:

If hearing loss is not identified until 2 or 3 years of age, your child may experience delays in speech, language, and cognitive development.

Do you have questions about the screening process?

Email us:


Visit our contact us web page to receive more information on EHDI and the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities.

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Date: April 28, 2008
Content source: National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities


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Quick Links
FAQ's About Hearing Loss
State & Territory EHDI Contacts
Mild & Unilateral
2006 EHDI Data
Abbreviations & Acronyms
Contact Us
Key Resources
Click here for new Educational Materials
click here to go to EHDI Pubs Search

A Parent's Guide to Hearing Loss
Available online


Contact Info

Thank you for visiting the CDC-NCBDDD Web site. Click here to contact the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities

We are not able to answer personal medical questions. Please see your health care provider concerning appropriate care, treatment, or other medical advice.


National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities


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