EHDI 2017

April 5, 2017

The 16th annual Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) Meeting brought together over 1,000 diverse stakeholders on February 26-28 in Atlanta, GA. The EHDI Meeting was organized by American Academy of Pediatrics, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: HRSA, and National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management at Utah State University. The purpose of this national meeting was to help attendees expand opportunities for young children who are deaf and hard of hearing by enhancing implementation of comprehensive state-based EHDI programs.

During this year's Meeting, Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) audiology trainees had a strong presence. More than 50 participated in an afternoon workshop planned by LEND faculty; they learned and discussed the importance of stakeholder collaboration and coordination in achieving optimal outcomes for deaf and hard of hearing children - particularly those who have one or more additional developmental disabilities. Trainees also considered how changes to health care delivery systems impact EHDI efforts and what they can do to advocate for effective policies at the local, state, and federal levels. As a result, 89% of participating trainees left feeling more confident in their ability to advocate for changes that can benefit their future patients and families.

Students also had opportunities to present their work, share their experiences and connect with other EHDI stakeholders, including state program coordinators, early interventionists, family advocates, and deaf advocates. Dr. Robert Nutt, a former LEND and Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics fellow from the Strong Center for Developmental Disabilities in Rochester, NY, delivered a keynote during the closing plenary where he shared his experience as a Deaf pediatrician working with families in a deaf medical home. In addition, two posters from current and recent LEND trainees received special honors. The first award was for best poster in the "Follow-up, Tracking and Data Management" category, which was presented to Hayden Engstrom and Alyssa Fosnight, both of whom are Audiology students at Vanderbilt University. The second award was for best poster in the "Audiological Services" category, which was presented to Bridget Shanahan, Cailin Shananhan and Natalie Loyola; all three are Audiology externs at Boston Children's Hospital.

AUCD's Interdisciplinary Technical Assistance Center on Autism and Related Disabilities (ITAC) was pleased to provide travel scholarships of $500 each for six LEND audiology trainees from the following programs:

  • LEND Center of Pittsburgh (PA);
  • Michigan Developmental Disabilities Institute (MI);
  • University of Arkansas for Medical Services (AR);
  • University of Cincinnati University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (OH);
  • Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (TN); and
  • Westchester Institute for Human Development (NY)

One recipient said that the EHDI meeting was a unique opportunity to ask for and receive advice from other stakeholders (especially family and deaf advocates), meet representatives from national and state organizations, and learn different approaches on how to provide services to deaf and hard of hearing children.