Legislative Information

Texas capitol dome viewed from the exterior.Texas’ newborn hearing screening, tracking, and intervention program was established in 1999 through the passage of House Bill 714. The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) is the oversight agency. 

Texas Health and Safety Code Chapter 47 is the Texas statute that governs the newborn hearing program. 

Written parental consent is required in order to share newborn hearing screening information with DSHS. Some general consent forms do not address this mandate. To facilitate this process and to foster parental awareness of services and organizations along the continuum of care, a Facilities Consent Form/Template (Word doc) was developed in English and Spanish. The form/template can be used at the birthing facility level as well as hearing service providers as needed.

Texas Administrative Code provides the rules followed by DSHS in order to implement the newborn hearing screening program. 

House Bill 411 [82(R) 2011] changed newborn hearing screening in birthing facilities from an “opt-in” to an “opt-out” screening process. This means that a newborn will receive the hearing screening unless the family declines. The executive commissioner of the Health and Human Services Commission, in collaboration with DSHS, developed a form to document a parent's decision to decline the newborn hearing screening.

Contact Us 

Texas Department of State Health Services
Texas Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (TEHDI)
PO Box 149347 MC-1918
Austin, Texas 78714-9909

Phone: 1-800-252-8023, extension 7726
(Use relay option of your choice to call if needed.)
Fax: 512-776-7125
Email: tehdi@dshs.texas.gov

External links to other sites are intended to be informational and do not have the endorsement of the Texas Department of State Health Services. These sites may not be accessible to people with disabilities.

Last updated February 9, 2017