Hearing and Vision Screenings for Kids
New screening opportunities make it easier to spot hearing and vision issues
Babies and toddlers in the Bennington region now have better access to vision and hearing screenings thanks to the Bennington Hearing and Vision Screening Project offered by the Children’s Integrated Services Early Intervention Program (CIS/Early Intervention).
Launched in January 2022, the project fills a critical need in the community as there’s currently only one pediatrician in Bennington who uses vision and hearing equipment for ages 3 and under, and the Bennington County Head Start/Early Head Start program is the only area childcare program that administers the screenings.
These screenings are important for early identification if a child has a vision or hearing loss, and is a critical first step to connecting them with the support they need, such as glasses, hearing aids, or teaching methods that will support their learning and development.
Thanks to a grant from the Vermont Early Childhood Fund (VECF), CIS/Early Intervention is now equipped with its own vision and hearing equipment. Offered free of charge, screenings can each be administered in three to five seconds by CIS/Early Intervention staff and without a referral from a physician. If the screening determines that there is a need for further assessment, CIS/Early Intervention provides the child’s family with options for referrals to a hearing or vision specialist, shares the test results with the child’s pediatrician, and follows up as needed—for example, by providing information on how to obtain glasses. In 2022, the organization performed a total of 169 screenings which resulted in 26 children being recommended for vision follow-up and 40 being recommended for hearing follow-up.
To learn more about hearing, vision and other screenings available from CIS/Early Intervention, click here.
Jennie Moon is program coordinator of Children’s Integrated Services Early Intervention Program in Bennington, VT.