Newborn infants in some hospitals are offered a pre-discharge hearing screen through the Victorian Infant Hearing Screening Program (V.I.H.S.P.) The program is funded and supported by the Victorian State Government.
As well as screening well babies, V.I.H.S.P. is involved in referring infants with identifiable risk factors for diagnostic audiological assessment. Approximately fifty per cent of infants identified with congenital deafness have identifiable risk factors.
International research has shown that babies whose permanent hearing loss is diagnosed before the age of six months and who receive appropriate early intervention, develop significantly better language than children who are identified at a later age. Therefore neonatal hearing screening aims to lower the age of detection of hearing loss so that language outcomes for deaf and hearing impaired children can be maximised.
For more information visit the V.I.H.S.P. website
Click here if you want to know about identifiable risk factors for hearing loss.