OSERS: Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services
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Opening Doors: Technology and Communication Options for Children with Hearing Loss

Quick Facts

  • Each year 24,000 children are born with hearing loss in the United States.

  • The great majority of these children are born to parents who have normal hearing.

  • Many states now require that hospitals screen babies at birth for possible hearing loss. This screening is painless, and only takes a few minutes.

  • Not all hearing loss is present at birth. Causes of hearing loss later in childhood include The importance of early intervention has been genetic factors, illness, and trauma.

  • The degree of hearing loss can vary from mild to profound, including deafness. There also are different kinds of hearing loss: conductive (caused by diseases or obstructions in the outer or middle ear); sensorineural (where the delicate sensory hair cells of the inner ear are damaged); mixed (a combination of the two); and central (resulting from damage to the nerves of the central nervous system).

  • Many services are available to help children who have hearing loss, including deafness. For eligible infants and toddlers (birth through age two), there's early intervention. For eligible children from three to 18 (and in some states through 21), there are special education and related services. These services can be very important to your child and your family. Use this fact sheet to learn more about, and connect with, these systems.


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Last Modified: 01/04/2007