The Early Intervention Task Force, a sub-committee of the EHDI Advisory Committee, met in March of 2007 and reviewed the State EHDI protocol originally developed in 2002. Members of the Task Force, comprised of audiologists, a parent and a representative from the State EI/ILP, recognized a need to update the protocol to address infants/children with late onset/progressive hearing loss and to reflect current best practice as outlined by JCIH. Once this section of the protocol is completed, it will be reviewed by the EHDI Advisory Committee and incorporated into the EHDI communication protocol. It will be disseminated by the State EHDI Program to all components of the EHDI community and introduced at Grand Rounds by the AAP Chapter Champion as well as through other presentations around the State. As a feedback loop, children identified by audiology assessment with late onset and progressive hearing loss will be matched to their newborn hearing screen in the EHDI database.
EI/ILP Programs at various locations throughout the State are screening children birth to three using Otoacoustic Emission (OAE) screeners. A Memorandum of Agreement will be developed for the purpose of obtaining releases and reporting children who do not pass their OAE screening to the State EHDI Program. The screening results will be matched to the child’s newborn hearing screening. This will indicate if the child has a late onset hearing loss or was lost to follow-up after a failed newborn screening. Implementation of this process will ensure all children who are at risk or have a confirmed hearing loss are integrated into the EHDI system and receive appropriate audiology and EI/ILP services.
The EHDI Program is participating in the Early Childhood Hearing Outreach (ECHO) Program through Utah State University. Otoacoustic emission (OAE) equipment, purchased by the State EHDI Program, is currently placed in three Early Head Start (EHS) Programs. One EHS Program is located in Anchorage and the other two are in the Interior of Alaska – Fairbanks and Fort Yukon. The Fort Yukon program serves a remote, rural region of the State. The village of Fort Yukon, and the smaller villages it serves, are accessible only by plane or snow machine. All these programs serve Alaska Native populations. Implementation of OAE screening will promote early identification of children with risk factors for hearing loss which include a high rate of otitis media. The EHDI Program Manager is the point of contact for these programs and facilitates technical assistance for ongoing training and referral information. A process