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Infant Hearing Program

This program includes universal newborn hearing screening, high risk monitoring and services for children identified with a permanent hearing loss in Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent.

Hearing loss can develop during early childhood. It is important to pay close attention to your baby’s speech and language development as any issues may be a sign of hearing loss.

 It is important to detect hearing loss as early as possible.

The Infant Hearing Program provides:

  • hearing screening for all newborns in hospital or community settings
  • assessments to identify permanent hearing loss
  • monitoring of children at risk of developing hearing loss
  • language development services

The first months and years of a baby’s life are critical for developing language. Every year in Ontario, nearly four in 1,000 babies are born deaf or hard of hearing. More lose their hearing later as they grow. Many of these children may need to learn speech and language differently, so it’s important to detect hearing loss as early as possible.  Undetected hearing loss can cause delays in your baby’s learning to talk which can lead to behavioural, cognitive and emotional problems.

Children who are deaf or hard of hearing have a better chance of developing effective language skills when hearing loss is identified early and they receive the support they need.

The Infant Hearing Program (IHP) provides language intervention services for children identified with a permanent hearing loss. The goal of this service is that children will develop one language (spoken or signed) to the best of their ability by the time they enter school. Two language development options are available - Spoken Language Services and Signed Language Services.

In collaboration with Talk2Me, JMCC provides family-centered Spoken Language Services. Spoken language involves listening to the spoken language of others and learning to use speech sounds, words and sentences to communicate. English and French are the spoken languages supported by the IHP.  A Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) will work with your child to help develop spoken language. The SLP will also teach you ways to help your child develop spoken language.  The SLP will regularly measure your child’s progress and work with other professionals on your child’s team to help you make the best decisions about services for your child.

Referral Criteria
  • Available for children from birth to 6 years

  • Diagnosed with a permanent hearing loss and registered with the Infant Hearing Program

For more information about the Ontario Infant Hearing Program, please visit: