February 26-28, 2017 • Atlanta, GA


2/27/2017  |   2:00 PM - 2:30 PM   |  Passing the EHDI Act: A Collaborative Dialogue   |  Grand Hall A

Passing the EHDI Act: A Collaborative Dialogue

As the 2016 legislative session of the U.S. Congress is winding down, the likelihood of the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Act of 2015 being passed is increasingly unlikely. As a result, U.S. House representatives and Senators invested in seeing the bill being passed as soon as possible in the 2017 legislative session are encouraging collaborative dialogue among key EHDI stakeholders now in order to bring a more unanimous bill to the table. This session will go in depth on explaining the current EHDI legislation, the proposed changes from various stakeholders' perspectives, and then provide a direct opportunities for all participants to provide input and feedback on the bill. This is an unique opportunity for early intervention professionals, parents, and advocates to work together on the central piece of legislation enabling early hearing detection and intervention services on the federal and state level. Discussion will include the need for more unified services, state financing, language/terminology, and the overall structure of federal EHDI services. Collaborative dialogue is key to both seeing the EHDI act finally pass both houses of Congress and ensuring that deaf and hard of hearing children and their families continue to receive quality services for another decade and more.

  • Identify key changes to be made in the EHDI legislation
  • Ability to list components of the proposed EHDI legislation
  • Describe the impact of the proposed language in the EHDI legislation


Handout is not Available



Tawny Holmes (), National Association of the Deaf, tawny.holmes@nad.org;
Tawny Holmes is the Education Policy Counsel at the National Association of the Deaf along with being Assistant Professor in the ASL and Deaf Studies department at Gallaudet University. She graduated from the University of Baltimore School of Law. In addition to her law degree, she has a Master of Arts in Family Centered Early Education. Ms. Holmes has worked three years in teaching deaf and hard of hearing students, mainly in the early childhood education field. As part of her position, she focuses on improving/establishing federal and state policy related to early intervention and education of deaf and hard of hearing children. Ms. Holmes strongly believes in the power of collaboration and has contributed a significant amount of her work towards this endeavor, in varying ways, from promoting parent resources to inclusion of deaf and hard of hearing adult professionals.


Financial - No relevant financial relationship exist.

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exist.