Vision and Hearing Screening

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The Vision and Hearing Screening Program at the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) works to identify children with vision and hearing disorders who attend public or private preschools and schools.  

Mission

Preschoolers and school children with hearing and vision problems will be identified early and linked to appropriate remedial services. School children will learn about preventive vision and hearing care. 

Announcements

2018 Vision Screening Manual Addendum

We are currently working on updating our Vision Screening Manual.
Until that time, please use the following addendum in conjunction with the Vision Screening manual.
View the Vision Screening Addendum.

Expert Panel Provides Recommendations on Using Photoscreening Eye chart to check vision and sound waves radiating to an ear.

The Vision Screening Program determined that current rule allows for the use of photoscreening devices. Texas Administrative Code, Title 25 Part 1, Chapter 37, related to Vision and Hearing Screening, allows for the use of instrument-based devices following the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus (AAPOS) guidelines, as revised, as they apply to age, verbal ability, ability to cooperate with screening, allowable methods of screening in different situations, and referral criteria. AAPOS vision screening recommendations indicate that instrument-based devices, such as photoscreeners, are not recommended for use in children 6 years or over and the visual acuity wall chart screening method is preferred. 

In response to stakeholder feedback and as part of HB 3157 implementation activities, the program convened an expert panel to review evidence-based research, best practices, and professional recommendations related to screening children for vision disorders. The meeting was held on the DSHS Main Campus, November 16, 2017. Panelists participated both in person and via conference call. It was an informal, closed meeting and not subject to the open meeting act.

The expert panel provided five recommendations when screening children for vision conditions. View the recommendations.  

Vision Screening Hearing Held March 2018 

The Vision Screening Program held a hearing to accept public comment related to vision screening on March 22, 2018. View the meeting agenda. [PDF 67KB] View the video of the hearing.

House Bill 3157 and Photoscreening Use in Schools 

The Governor signed House Bill (HB) 3157, 85th Legislature, Regular Session 2017. It amends Health and Safety Code, Chapter 36, Special Senses and Communication Disorders and became effective September 1, 2017. HB 3157 does not require that schools use photoscreening technology nor require that schools purchase the equipment. However, it explicitly allows schools to use photoscreening technology as part of the screening process. 

Because current rules allow for the use of photoscreening in a manner that is consistent with American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus (AAPOS) recommendations, rules will not need to be amended to implement HB 3157. View the current vision and hearing screening rules. Also, see our vision screening frequent questions. 

Audiometers

An audiometer measures various aspects of a person's ability to hear. To measure hearing accurately and to ensure that all audiometers perform consistently, Texas law requires that they be registered and calibrated. Read more about audiometers.

Contact Us

Texas Department of State Health Services
Vision and Hearing Screening
PO Box 149347, MC 1818, Austin, Texas 78714-9347
1100 West 49th Street, Austin, Texas 78756-3199
Phone: 512-776-7420 or toll free 1-800-252-8023, extension 7420  
Fax: 512-776-7256
Email: vhssprogram@dshs.texas.gov 

Relay Texas: Dial 7-1-1 


External links to other sites are intended to be informational and do not have the endorsement of the Texas Department of State Health Services. These sites may not be accessible to people with disabilities.

Last updated August 16, 2018