Document Type

Capstone Project

Publication Date

Spring 5-10-2017


Early identification of permanent hearing loss begins with the competency of the individuals completing a hearing screening in being able to identify children who are at-risk for hearing loss. The appropriate management of hearing healthcare for children, during the developmental period from birth to school age, requires these individuals to possess knowledge related to screenings, protocols, and follow-up, for children in need of additional diagnostic services. The Early Childhood Hearing Outreach (ECHO) Initiative was formulated by the National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management (NCHAM) as an extension to newborn hearing screening programs. The program focuses on assisting hearing screeners and healthcare providers who serve children birth to three years of age. In 2014, the Illinois State University ECHO Team began contracted services for the Illinois ECHO program. Its focus was to establish and provide an effective training model for otoacoustic emission hearing screenings using course curriculum supported by the ECHO Initiative. The current study assessed the validity of the ECHO Initiative curriculum. It further sought to compare didactic-based and practicum-based training models to determine if any significant differences in degree of knowledge acquisition or retention could be observed. While the curricular content of the ECHO program demonstrated a significant effect on knowledge acquisition, minimal differences between training models were identified. The data collected between training models helped to highlight functional implications for effective grant sponsorship. Relocation of service in conjunction with alternative delivery methods, as well as a review of Illinois mandated reporting forms, were discussed as a much-needed consideration for the future of the ECHO program within the state of Illinois.