PART C ELIGIBILITY CONSIDERATIONS
ITCA and NCHAM • 2
It is essential thatdecisions concerningeligibility for Part Cservices for childrenwith hearing loss bemade by a team thatincludes professionalsknowledgeable aboutthe identiﬁcation,consequences, andintervention for childrenwith permanenthearing loss.
Approximately 12,000 babies are bornwith permanent hearing loss each year,which indicates up to 36,000 childrenwith hearing loss (birth to age 3 years) arepotentially eligible for services under statePart C systems at any point in time. PartC has the responsibility of ensuring thatchildren who are deaf or hard of hearingare identiﬁed, determining which childrenwill be eligible for Part C services, andproviding appropriate early interventionservices to children who are eligible.
e purpose of this document is toprovide information that will assist peopleresponsible for state Part C systems in:
Making informed, evidence-baseddecisions as they develop or revieweligibility criteria related to infantsand toddlers who are deaf or hard of hearing.
Determining the appropriatepersonnel to participate in eligibility determination and the developmentof an Individualized Family ServicePlan (IFSP) to address service needsof the child and family.
Providing resource information tofamilies of children who do not meetthe eligibility criteria established by the state’s Part C program.
Deﬁning Hearing Loss
Because measures of receptive andexpressive language are notprecise for children birth through12 months, infants born with apermanent hearing loss and noadditional disability or conditionalmost never demonstrate early delays that qualify the infantfor early intervention servicesunder most states’ deﬁnitionsof developmental delay. IDEA,however, deﬁnes eligibility notonly by the establishment of adevelopmental delay but alsoby the existence of a conditionwith a high probability of delay,which includes hearing loss.ere is abundant evidence thatpermanent hearing loss of any degree andconﬁguration results in developmentaldelays if appropriate early interventionis not provided. e Joint Committee onInfant Hearing (JCIH, 2007) recommendsthat all children with congenitalpermanent bilateral or unilateral hearingloss, including those with permanentconductive or neural hearing loss (i.e.,auditory neuropathy/ dyssynchrony),receive early intervention. Evidence-basedresearch conﬁrms that all types of hearingloss outlined by JCIH result in delays inmultiple areas, including, but not limitedto, speech and language, communication,social-emotional development, cognition,and reading.
Membership of Eligibility Team
It is essential that decisions concerningeligibility for Part C services for childrenwith hearing loss be made by a team thatincludes professionals knowledgeableabout the identiﬁcation, consequences,and intervention for children withpermanent hearing loss. Professionalswith this expertise include audiologists,deaf educators, early interventionists, andspeech-language pathologists who haveskills and expertise in serving infants andyoung children who are deaf or hard of hearing and their families. Te selectionof the appropriate personnel for theteam will be dependent on each state’s