Search form

State Government Programs

Early Intervention Services for Children

Most states’ Departments of Human Services (or varying terminology) contain a Division for Developmental Disabilities that administer an Early Intervention Program providing support and services to infants, toddlers, and their families.

Other names of this division may include Maternal and Child Health Services or the Youth Projects Division.

Some of Many Services Offered

Speech-Language Pathology

*Assessment and intervention services to address the functional, developmental needs of an infant or toddler with a disability with an emphasis on communication skills, language and speech development, sign language and cued language services, and oral motor functioning, including the identification of specific communication disorders;

*Collaboration with the family, service coordinator and other early intervention service providers identified on an infant’s or toddler’s Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP).

*When necessary, referral for community services, as well as health or other professional services;

*Consultation to adapt the environment and activities to promote speech and language development and participation of an infant or toddler with a disability;

*Family training, education and support provided to assist the family of an infant or toddler with a disability in understanding his or her functional developmental needs and to enhance his or her development.

Audiology Services

*Identification and ongoing assessment of an infant or toddler with an auditory impairment and determination of the range, nature, and degree of hearing loss and communication function;

*Collaboration with the family, service coordinator and other early intervention service providers identified on an infant’s or toddler’s IFSP;

*When necessary, referral for community services, as well as health or other professional services;

*Auditory training, aural rehabilitation, sign language and cued language services, and other training to increase the functional communication skills of an infant or toddler with a significant hearing loss;

*Determination of an infant’s or toddler’s need for individual amplification, such as a hearing aid, and selecting, fitting, and dispensing appropriate amplification and then evaluating the effectiveness of the amplification;

*Training, education, and support provided to assist the family of an infant or toddler with a significant hearing loss in understanding his or her functional developmental needs related to the hearing loss and to enhance his or her development.

Transportation

Reimbursement for reasonable and most appropriate travel expenses, including mileage, taxis, common carriers, tolls or parking, necessary to enable an infant or toddler with a disability and the family to receive early intervention services.

Eligibility

Although there is no American citizenship requirement for state and federal funds, the family and child must live in the state.

Usually the child must be under two years of age and have either a developmental delay in hearing (and possibly other areas) or a medical diagnosis that has a high probability of resulting in a significant developmental delay or disability as the child gets older, even though the child may not currently have an observable delay or disability.

Financial Assistance Available

The state planning team will help the family identify funding sources for the early intervention services that are

necessary and appropriate. A Funding Hierarchy represents the order in which funding sources must be considered from the top of the chart to the bottom. The IFSP always takes precedent over the requirements of the funding source. If the insurance plan or the plan’s approved service provider(s) will not provide the service(s) as specified on the IFSP in the home or community settings identified by the family as being their natural environment, it is appropriate to complete the Insurance Exemption Form and move to another payment source on the funding hierarchy.

By law, the family must use private or public insurance coverage first, and other sources as indicated in the pyramid. Only as a funder of last resort will IDEA Part C be used.

Private Insurance

Public Insurance (Medicaid, CHP+)

Health Care Program for Children with Special Needs (Title V)

Child Welfare and Child Care Assistance

Dept. of Education Part B and School for the Deaf and the Blind

State Early Intervention Funding

IDEA Part C

Programs for Adults

Many States offer financial assistance of hearing aids, assistive listening device, or auditory training for adults. To determine if these services are available check with your:

*State Department of Rehabilitation

*Department of Vocational Rehabilitation

*Department of Human Services (DHS)

The programs are so varied and change so frequently that it is impossible to state what is available across the fifty states. So it will take some investigation to find out what is available in your state. In making your inquiries some terms you may use to help you in your search are:

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services Division (DHHSD) is sometimes a division within the Department of Human

Services. They can provide people with additional information about financial resources for hearing aids (including local hearing aid banks) and assistive listening devices.

Many local communities have hearing aid banks which serve hard of hearing individuals in financial need who do not qualify for other assistance programs. When needed, it will arrange for a hearing evaluation and/or hearing aid provision through volunteer audiologists and hearing aid dispensers in the area. Some banks will provide only one hearing aid where the purchase of a second hearing aid is possible at the client’s expense or with private donations made to local hearing aid banks. Applicants may be asked to contribute a co-payment fee.

Applicants usually must reside in certain stipulated communities and income usually must be at the poverty level based on household size. In addition there may be restrictions on assets that the individual may own (e.g. cash, stock, bonds, etc).

Micro Loan Program

Some States offer loaner hearing devices or hearing aids. This program provides low-interest loans to disabled individuals who do not have the money to pay for the Assistive Technology devices and services they need. After receipt of the loans, individuals are able to make payments with an installment plan that fits their budget. They work with partner banks.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services for State Employees

Some States offer adaptive communication equipment to deaf and hard of hearing employees. Usually they can help employers identify adaptive communication equipment that can help overcome on-the-job communication barriers between deaf or hard of hearing employees and their co-workers or supervisors.