Early detection and treatment of hearing disorders provide children the best opportunity to develop academically, emotionally and socially.
Hearing loss in school children may interfere with normal speech and language development and with the ability to learn. Even mild or unilateral hearing losses may be educationally significant. Regular school hearing screenings are an important method of identifying children who are at risk for hearing loss.
The Children's Hearing program sets the screening requirements and guidelines for school-based preschool and K-12 schools. The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) sets the requirements for what grades are routinely screened each year; what equipment is acceptable to use; what specific hearing tests are needed to perform the screenings; and the referral criteria. Schools providing medical services are required to screen school-aged students for hearing.
The ODH stresses that a hearing screening, while a valuable public health procedure, is not a substitute for a complete audiological/medical examination; however, to further ensure children with hearing disorders are detected early, programs utilizing regulated and supervised screening procedures have become essential. Children who do not pass school hearing screenings should be referred for diagnostic hearing evaluation.
The Children's Hearing program is a program of early detection, diagnosis and treatment of children with hearing disorders. In addition to providing school-screening standards, the program conducts statewide annual reporting of hearing screening programs and provides training for people who perform screenings on preschool and school-aged children.
Ohio Department of Health
Children's Hearing Program
246 N. High Street, 6th Floor
Columbus, OH 43215
Hearing Screening Assistance: (614) 466-1995
Fax: (614) 728-6793