NBRHC is the lead agency and the coordination for the Northeast Ontario Infant Hearing program which is a part of the Ontario Infant Hearing Program. There are three components of this program, which includes a universal neonatal screening of all babies born annually in these districts, audiology services and communication development for those children identified with permanent hearing loss between the ages of birth and 6 years.
All babies born in the districts of Manitoulin, Sudbury, Algoma, Cochrane, Nipissing and Temiskaming receive Stage 1 hearing screening for permanent hearing loss shortly after birth. Community clinics located in most communities across Northeast Ontario provide Stage 1 screening for those babies missed in the hospital and Stage 2 screening for those requiring follow-up from Stage 1 screening.
Audiology services are provided for those babies with a refer from screening and for those babies who are at high risk for the acquisition of permanent hearing loss and require surveillance follow-up.
Children identified with a permanent hearing loss are provided with communication development intervention through auditory verbal therapists, Sign Language Instructors, Speech/Language Pathology Services or dual approaches.
Family support services are also offered to all families who have a child identified with a permanent hearing loss.
Audiology services are available in Sudbury, North Bay, Timmins, Moose Factory and Sault Ste. Marie. Audiology services for those babies who must go to Ottawa or Toronto for other medical issues are coordinated so that they can receive their audiology services at these facilities.
Communication services are available through various Preschool Language Initiatives across Northeast Ontario.
All babies are eligible for Infant Hearing Screening and this is completed automatically in the hospital, birthing center or midwifery practices.
All children with the presence of permanent hearing loss between the ages of 0-6 years are eligible for funded audiology and communication development services.
Prevalence data suggests that 3/1000 babies will be born with a permanent hearing loss.
1/1000 will be born with deafness and 2/1000 will be born hard of hearing.
For more information on the Ontario Infant Hearing Program or programs for children, please visit the following website:
Wordplay / Jeux de mots
10 Elm St., Suite 402