Georgia Audiology Program Aims to Improve National Ranking for Child Hearing Supports
ATLANTA, GA – According to the National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs, Georgia ranks last among the 50 states in access to healthcare supports for children who are deaf or hard-of-hearing (DHH). Georgia ranks 48th in the nation for hearing services, with over 13% of DHH children not receiving any hearing services. Only 32% of Georgia babies identified as needing a full hearing exam were reported to have received the exam by three months of age.
The Georgia Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (GaLEND) Audiology Program addresses these needs by preparing an audiology workforce with the skills and perspectives critical to providing effective, culturally competent, family-centered services and supports to form the partnerships needed to achieve improved systems of care for children who are DHH and with or at risk for ASD/DD. The Health Resources and Services Administration has awarded the GaLEND program with $375,000 over the next five years to address these overlapping issues.
The main goal is to develop clinical, research, programmatic, and policy leaders to improve systems of supports and services for children who are DHH with ASD/DD and their families. We have three goals for the GaLEND Audiology Program, each with measurable objectives and timelines:
- Increase the number of pediatric audiologists with clinical and leadership skills and expertise in delivering care to infants and young children with ASD/DD
- Ensure trainee competencies on screening, treatment, and follow-up in infants and young children who are DHH and who have or are at risk for ASD/DD
- Increase the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) systems’ capacity to serve infants/children who are DHH and who have or are at risk for ASD/DD by providing technical assistance
GaLEND’s Audiology Program includes partnerships with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Audiology Clinic, University of Georgia’s Audiology Clinic, CDC’s EHDI program, DHH Advocacy Groups, and the Georgia Department of Education’s Mobile Audiology Clinic.