• Contact Us

    Newborn Screening Unit
    Texas Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (TEHDI)
    PO Box 149347, MC-1918
    Austin, Texas 78714-9347

    Fax: 512-776-7125
    Toll-free: 800-252-8023, ext. 7726


About Us

The Texas Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (TEHDI) Program  is dedicated to ensuring that deaf or hard of hearing (D/HH) newborns and young children are identified early and and receive intervention services. National benchmarks call for hearing screening no later than one month of age, diagnosis no later than three months of age for infants not passing the screening, and enrollment in intervention no later than six months of age for children identified as D/HH. This is known as the 1-3-6 Plan. When left undetected, hearing loss can negatively impact children through delays in speech, language, social, and emotional development.  

Legislative Information

The TEHDI Program was established in 1999 through the passage of House Bill 714 and was implemented in Texas birthing facilities with the Department of State Health Services as the oversight agency. Texas capitol dome as viewed from the exterior

In Texas a newborn will receive a hearing screen unless the family declines.

Texas Health and Safety Code Chapter 47 is the Texas statute that governs the newborn hearing program. Texas Administrative Code provides the rules followed by DSHS in order to implement the newborn hearing screening program. 

The department provides a web-based system for reporting and tracking newborn hearing information known as the Texas Early Hearing Detection and Intervention management information system (TEHDI MIS). Hearing screen providers, hospitals, health care providers, audiologists, and intervention specialists can access the system to provide or obtain information related to an infant’s hearing. 

Written consent from a parent is required before any identifying information may be shared or released through TEHDI MIS. The state developed a consent form to ensure consent is documented to release hearing/intervention outcomes and individually identifying information with the Department of State Health Services Texas Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (TEHDI) Program, and if necessary, the Statewide Outreach Center at Texas School for the Deaf. The information obtained is used to coordinate services and provide resources to the child and family if needed, and will not be shared with any parties not involved in the child’s hearing screening follow-up and/or intervention process. 

When a family declines to release information, the record will be marked confidential and only the hearing outcome will be viewable as required for public health reporting and surveillance. 

Consent is not required to perform a newborn hearing screen. However, a family may decline the screen. The Texas Health and Human Services executive commissioner, in collaboration with DSHS, developed a form to document a parent's decision to decline the newborn hearing screening. It is recommended that the refusal is captured in writing.

In accordance with Chapter 47, the department certifies newborn screening programs. Read about the certification process.

Last updated January 25, 2021