Services delivered: Infant Hearing Program
Component: Early Intervention
Legislation: Child, Youth and Family Services Act, 2017
The Infant Hearing Program (IHP) identifies babies born with permanent hearing loss (PHL) or who are at risk for developing PHL in early childhood and provides them with the services and supports needed to support language development and communication skills.
PHL provides services to families with children from birth until school entry.
Delivered through a Lead Agency model, IHP offers screening, diagnostics, amplification, and other intervention services which includes connecting families with community resources and local support systems. Services are provided by Hearing Screeners, Regional Trainers, Audiologists, Family Support Workers, Speech-Language Pathologists (through the Preschool Speech and Language program), and American Sign Language (ASL)/Langue des signes Québécoise (LSQ) Consultants.
Specific service provided
The following program components must be delivered in accordance with the IHP Guidance Documents and Protocols
- Universal Newborn Hearing Screening (UNHS) utilizing the Protocol for Universal Newborn Hearing Screening Ontario
- Hearing Loss Risk Factor Screening utilizing the IHP Hearing Screening Protocol and Support Document
- Audiological assessment utilizing the Auditory Brainstem Response Assessment (ABRA) protocol
- Audiological surveillance utilizing the IHP Protocol for Audiological Surveillance
- Behavioural Hearing Assessment utilizing the IHP Protocol for Audiometric Assessment for Children Aged 6 to 60 months
- Audiology amplification services and outcome measures utilizing the IHP Protocol for the Provision of Amplification
- Language development supports utilizing the Language Development Services Guidelines Ontario Infant Hearing Program
Services are child and family-centred and support the diverse needs of families in a way that is culturally safe, and promotes equity, anti-racism, and anti-oppression.
The goals of the IHP are to
- identify infants who are born with PHL or who are born at risk of developing PHL in early childhood
- provide infants confirmed with PHL and their families with the necessary intervention services in a timely manner to meet international benchmarks and support the development of language
- give infants and children with PHL the opportunity at the best start in life by preparing them for social and academic success to the best of their abilities
IHP services are delivered according to the protocols, guidance documents and guidelines listed or any subsequent updated versions (or any other supporting policy documents provided by the ministry)
- Ontario Infant Hearing Program: A Guidance Document, 2021 Version 2021.01 IHP Hearing Screening Protocol and Support Document Version 2019.01
- IHP Protocol for Auditory Brainstem Response – Based Audiological Assessment (ABRA) Version 2020.01
- Protocol for Audiological Surveillance of Children at Risk for Permanent Hearing Loss Version 2019.01
- IHP Protocol for Audiometric Assessment for Children aged 6 to 60 months version 2019.01
- Protocol for the Provision of Amplification Version 2019.01
- Language Development Services Guidelines Ontario Infant Hearing Program Version 2018.02
- at least 90% of all newborns born in a given region will receive a successful hearing screen, where "successful" means a Stage 1 Pass (in both ears) or a Stage 2 Pass (in both ears) or a Stage 2 Refer in at least one ear completed at or before three months corrected age
- of the total number of babies screened successfully as above 90% will have their successful screen completed by one month corrected age
- the overall refer rate to audiologic assessment will not exceed 2% of all babies screened
- 75% of all babies with a "refer" result from Universal Newborn Hearing Screening (UNHS) who have an audiology assessment will access it by four months corrected age
- 40% of babies with confirmed Permanent Hearing Loss (PHL) whose families chose amplification will access amplification services no later than 9 months corrected age
- 40% of babies with confirmed PHL will access language development services no later than 9 months corrected age
Service and financial data will be reported in Transfer Payment Ontario at an Interim and Final period, informed by IRSS Monitoring Reports. Please refer to your final agreement for report back due dates.
|Service data name||Definition|
Infant Hearing: Ministry-funded Agency Expenditures
Total ministry-funded expenses for the Transfer Payment Recipient to administer and/or deliver this service in the Funding Year (cumulative).
# of individuals screened (total): IHP
The total number of newborns who received a successful Universal Newborn Hearing Screen during the reporting period. Report the same value as the total reported in the IHP Program Activity Report for Question 1A. Successful refers to a Stage 1 pass (in both ears) or a Stage 2 pass (in both ears) or a Stage 2 refer in at least one ear completed at or before three months (corrected age).
A supplementary report providing additional information to help the ministry monitor the performance of the Preschool Speech and Language, Blind- Blow Vision and Infant Hearing Program may be required.