To help kick off Speech and Hearing Awareness Month, the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health announced that as of May 1, 2019, newborns will be screened for early signs of hearing loss in all 18 hospitals in the province that regularly deliver babies.

Follow this link for the full announcement: https://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/news-and-media/2019/may/01/newborn-hearing-screening

The Universal Newborn Screening Program was announced during last year’s budget, when the Government of Saskatchewan invested $523,000 to purchase equipment and hire staff to ensure that babies born in the province are screened for hearing loss.

This investment in Saskatchewan’s future generations was the result of the collaborative work of the Ministry of Health and the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission’s systemic advocacy committee.

The committee was established in response to the SHRC’s D/deaf and Hard of Hearing Systemic initiative, and the Commission’s public consultation report, “Access and Equality for Deaf, deaf, and Hard of Hearing People: A Report to Stakeholders” – which maintained the importance of implementing a universal newborn screening for hearing disabilities.

“The expansion of newborn hearing screening to all of these hospitals is an exciting development,” said David Arnot, Chief Commissioner of the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission. “Screening is an important first step for children with hearing loss, and it will help them and their parents to prepare for success in the school system.”