In 2004, the state of Ohio implemented universal newborn hearing screening. Since then, the number of infants identified with hearing loss at birth has doubled. In Ohio, an estimated 450 children a year will be diagnosed with permanent hearing loss that could be managed with hearing aids. Unfortunately, state and federal agencies provide only limited support for interventions such as hearing aids.
As a result, staff at Cincinnati Children’s recognized a need to identify additional sources of funding for children who might otherwise be denied coverage for hearing aids. The known benefits of early intervention (particularly for hearing, speech and language development), underscores the importance of fitting children with hearing aids as early as possible.