Vote Communication Health 2019: Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI)

All children in Canada deserve access to timely and high-quality hearing health services.


 

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THE ISSUE


The 2019 Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) Report Card released by the Canadian Infant Hearing Task Force (CIHTF) revealed an alarming disparity in hearing health services available to children across Canada. Only a handful of Canadian provinces and territories received a “sufficient” grade in terms of early hearing detection and intervention services, with Canada as a whole receiving an “insufficient” grade. Speech-Language & Audiology Canada (SAC) is urging decision-makers at all levels to prioritize hearing health and ensure that all children in this country, regardless of where they live, have the same access to timely and high-quality hearing health services.

 

THE BACKGROUND


The ability to communicate effectively with others is the very foundation of a child's social, emotional and educational development. The earlier a baby’s hearing loss is detected, the sooner intervention strategies can be put into place to help a child learn language – whether it’s spoken, signed or both – so that the baby can communicate with the world around them.

 

 

Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) programs aim to proactively address hearing health and include the following components:

Universal hearing screening of all newborns;

Identification of babies with permanent hearing loss;

Intervention services that include support for technology and communication development;

Family support;

Monitoring and evaluation of the program.

Investing in the establishment and maintenance of comprehensive EHDI programs across Canada will save all levels of government money in the long-run by reducing the amount of - or need for - specialized health and education services later on.

 

 

THE ASK

That the federal government establish national hearing health guidelines for children.

National guidelines will serve as a policy roadmap for provinces and territories, drawing on best practices from those provinces and territories that have already implemented successful and sustainable EHDI programs. Although health is legislated at the provincial and territorial level, the federal government must take a policy leadership role and provide guidance to provinces and territories to ensure that all children in Canada have access to high-quality of hearing health services, regardless of where they live.

 

 

QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR LOCAL CANDIDATES:


I am concerned with the lack of early hearing detection and intervention programs in Canada…

How would your party ensure that all children in Canada have equal access to hearing healthcare?

What role do you see the federal government playing to ensure that provinces and territories establish and maintain comprehensive early hearing detection and intervention programs?

WHAT CAN YOU DO?


 

  • Share our SAC graphics on social media.
  • Share the information on this page with your patients, clients, friends and family.
  • Speak to your local candidates and their representatives about this issue.
  • Print off copies of this page and display them at your school or place of work.

 

ADDITIONAL SAC RESOURCES