Louisiana's EHDI Program


BACKGROUND:  Newborn hearing screening in Louisiana began in 1994 with a handful of professionals and volunteers who successfully sponsored legislation mandating newborn hearing screening on all infants at-risk for hearing loss. The original legislation was amended in 1999 and signed into law in 2000 mandating hearing screening on all infants prior to hospital discharge.  

Hearing screening programs spread throughout the Unted States and the U.S. territories in the 1990s and early 2000s. It soon became clear that screening was only half the battle.  Infants who did not pass the screening needed to receive a diagnosis in a timely manner to either rule out or identify hearing loss.  If a hearing loss was identified, infants and toddlers and their families needed timely and appropriate services.  As a result of the work done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Maternal Child Health Bureau (MCHB) and the Joint Committee on Infant Hearing (JCIH), the phrase "Early Hearing Detection and Intervention" was adopted by most states, including Louisiana.

National goals were developed by the CDC in collaboration with state representatives that were based on position statements of JCIH and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) as well as recommendations from other federal and professional organizations.  The first three goals are referred to as "The 1-3-6 Plan":