The first months and years of a child’s life are very important for developing language. Undetected hearing loss is one of the causes of delayed speech and language development which can lead to behavioural, cognitive and emotional problems.

Most children who are deaf or hard of hearing, whose hearing loss is identified early, and who receive the support they need have a better chance of developing effective oral and/or visual language skills.

Newborn hearing screening

Parents living in the Toronto area will be offered free hearing screening for their children before they leave the hospital. A number of Infant Hearing Clinics are available for those children who were not screened and for those who need a follow-up appointment.

Audiology services

Hearing assessment

Infant Hearing Program audiologists conduct audiologic assessments. Children identified with a hearing loss will be referred to a physician for medical investigation and management where indicated.

Hearing technology evaluation

Infant Hearing Program audiologists select and fit hearing technology that will best meet the child’s needs. Follow-up audiology assessments and hearing technology evaluations are provided on a regular basis.

Communication development

Family support

Family Support Workers provide families with counselling, support and general information about community agencies. They provide information about the different communication options available for a family with a child who is deaf or hard of hearing.

Oral and/or visual communication support

The Infant Hearing Program provides family-centred services that may include:

  • an assessment of the child’s communication skills
  • professional guidance to help develop the child’s language
  • parent education

Eligibility Criteria For Hearing Screening Services

  • live in City of Toronto (postal codes starting with M only)
  • fall into one of the following categories:
    • zero – two months of age: eligible to receive newborn hearing screening
    • two – 24 months of age: eligible if the child has a risk factor associated with a permanent hearing loss
    • 24 months – six years: eligible if a permanent hearing loss has been identified

For Audiology Services or Communication Development Service

  • live in City of Toronto (postal codes starting with M only)
  • be between birth and six years of age
  • have risk indicator(s) for permanent hearing loss. A risk indicator may include but should not be limited to:
    • postnatal infections associated with hearing impairment, including bacterial meningitis, viral encephalitis or labyrinthitis
    • stigmata or other findings associated with a syndrome known to include a sensorineural and/or conductive hearing loss (e.g. neurofibromatosis, osteopetrosis, Usher’s syndrome)
    • neurodegenerative disorders, such as Hunter Syndrome or sensory-motor neuropathies such as Friedreich’s ataxia and Charcot-Marie-Tooth Syndrome
    • significant head trauma associated with loss of consciousness or skull fracture that required neurological consultation
    • family history of childhood permanent hearing impairment
    • have a permanent hearing loss

For Eligible Patients

Complete the new client intake form and fax it to 416-338-8511.

Referrals are also accepted by phone.