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Early Identification and Referral Toolbox

EHDI and Hands & Voices

Early hearing detection and intervention (EHDI) programs and Hands & Voices—a parent organization—collaborate to improve identification and intervention of infants with hearing loss in all states across the nation.

The goals EHDI are to ensure that newborns:

  • Receive a hearing screening by 1 month of age (ideally before hospital discharge)
  • Receive follow-up testing by 3 months of age if they do not pass the screening
  • Be enrolled in early intervention services by 6 months if diagnosed with a permanent hearing loss 

Hands & Voices is a non-profit, parent-driven organization dedicated to supporting children who are Deaf or hard of hearing. Among other activities, it supports the development of newborn and infant hearing screening and promotes the inclusion of families, parents, and caregivers of deaf or hard of hearing infants and children in statewide EHDI systems. 

Because of their deep involvement in the identification of infants who are deaf or hard of hearing, EHDI and Hand & Voices programs make ideal partners for state deaf-blind projects working to improve identification and referral of infants who are deaf-blind.

The resources in this section will give you: 

  1. A closer look at how EHDI and Hands & Voices programs work
  2. Information to help you form partnerships with individuals who work in these programs
  3. Ideas for addressing identification and referral challenges in your state


Health Resources & Services Administration. (n.d.). Family leadership in language and learning: Hands & Voices.

National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management. (n.d.). National goals and program objectives for the EHDI tracking and surveillance system