Who are we?
The Vision and Hearing Screening program at the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) supports screening, diagnostic, and research efforts related to hearing.
Why regulate audiometers?
An audiometer is a complex instrument that measures various aspects of a person's ability to hear. To measure hearing accurately, every audiometer must perform just like any other of its type.
To ensure that all audiometers perform consistently, Texas law requires that they be registered and calibrated. The law also requires people who use audiometers to be registered. (See Texas Health and Safety Code, Chapter 401.Texas Regulations for the Control of Infrasonic, Sonic, and Ultrasonic Radiation and Chapter 36.Special Senses And Communication Disorders)
How do you register?
If you use equipment to test hearing in Texas, you must be registered with DSHS. To register, you must:
- be a licensed audiologist or speech-language pathologist,
- be licensed to fit and dispense hearing aids,
- be a licensed physician,
- complete six hours of audiology courses at an accredited university, or complete a hearing screening workshop sponsored by DSHS.
In addition, you must register all of the equipment that you use to evaluate hearing. Fill out a separate form for each piece of equipment.
What else is required?
By law, every audiometer in Texas must be calibrated annually by a qualified technician. Calibration is a way of checking sound emitting equipment to make sure that it is performing within set standards.
In addition, minimum standards require a monthly biological calibration. You can do this by checking the threshold of three people with normal hearing, perhaps including yourself. If the audiometer fails this check, it must be corrected by a calibration technician.
What services do we provide?
Audiometers on loan. Any hearing screener who is registered in Texas and performs free screenings may borrow an audiometer for 30 to 90 days. A limited number of audiometers are available, so submit your application well in advance of your scheduled screening dates. Loan equipment is especially scarce during the fall semester, when schools conduct hearing screenings. A loan application form F05-06832 (DOC 40KB) must be filled out to request an audiometer. View the procedures (DOC 36KB) for audiometric loan. The borrower must also fill out an AL-16 Form (DOC 35KB) indicating the number of children screened and submit with the audiometer.
For more information, contact the:
Department of State Health Services
Vision and Hearing Screening - Mail Code 1938
PO Box 149347 / Austin, Texas 78714-9347
1100 West 49th Street / Austin, Texas 78756-3199
Relay Texas: Dial 7-1-1
Email Vision and Hearing Screening