Vision and Hearing Screening

The Vision and Hearing Screening Program at the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) works to identify children with vision and hearing disorders who attend any public, private, parochial, denominational school or a Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) licensed childcare center and licensed childcare home in Texas.


Preschoolers and school children with hearing and vision problems will be identified early and linked to appropriate remedial services. School children will learn about the preventive vision and hearing care. 


HB 3130 Announcement

Pursuant to the passage of HB 3130 in the 88th Regular Session certified screeners and external instructors who meet the requirements under Government Code 552.138(f) may request DSHS restrict public access to the personal information associated with their certification.

To make the request, an individual must be a current or former client of a family violence shelter center, victim of trafficking shelter center, or sexual assault program or is a survivor of family violence, domestic violence, or sexual assault.

To participate in this option, individuals must complete the following Public Access Notice Form located on the Texas Attorney General website and email it to the DSHS Vision, Hearing and Spinal Screening program at for processing.

HB 1297 Announcement

HB 1297 took effect on September 1, 2023. The DSHS Vision, Hearing, and Spinal Screening Program (VHSS) is working to update program rules and policies, as soon as practicable, to reflect the language in HB 1297. In the interim, VHSS advises facilities to continue following current rules until further notice.

The Vision, Hearing, and Spinal Screening Program at the Texas Department of State Health Services has released the 2022 Childhood Vision Screening Expert Panel Report. The 2022 Childhood Vision Screening Expert Panel Recommendations were previously released for public comment from January 3, 2023 – January 10, 2023. The report is available here 2022 Childhood Vision Screening Expert Panel Report. If you have questions email the program at

Vision, Hearing, and Spinal Screening Reporting Period Begins January 15 

The reporting period for vision, hearing, and spinal screening (VHSS) begins on January 15th.  Results are required to be submitted to the Department of State Health Services online to the Child Health Reporting System (CHRS) by June 30 of each year. View the vision, hearing, and spinal screening annual reports flyer. 

Please note that reports are required to be submitted online by the reporting deadline of June 30th every year. Late reports are not accepted.

Expert Panel Provides Recommendations on Using Photo-screening 

The Vision Screening Program determined that the current rule allows for the use of photo-screening devices. Texas Administrative Code, Title 25 Part 1, Chapter 37, related to Vision and Hearing Screening, allows for the use of instrument-based devices following the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus (AAPOS) guidelines, as revised, as they apply to age, verbal ability, ability to cooperate with screening, allowable methods of screening in different situations, and referral criteria. AAPOS vision screening recommendations indicate that instrument-based devices, such as photo screeners, are not recommended for use in children 6 years or over and the visual acuity wall chart screening method is preferred. 

In response to stakeholder feedback and as part of HB 3157 implementation activities, the program convened an expert panel to review evidence-based research, best practices, and professional recommendations related to screening children for vision disorders. The meeting was held on the DSHS Main Campus, on November 16, 2017. Panelists participated both in person and via conference call. It was an informal, closed meeting and not subject to the open meeting act.

The expert panel provided five recommendations when screening children for vision conditions. View the recommendations.  

House Bill 3157 and Photo-screening Use in Schools 

The Governor signed House Bill (HB) 3157, 85th Legislature, Regular Session 2017. It amends Health and Safety Code, Chapter 36, Special Senses and Communication Disorders, and became effective September 1, 2017. HB 3157 does not require that schools use photo screening technology nor require that schools purchase the equipment. However, it explicitly allows schools to use photo screening technology as part of the screening process. 

Because current rules allow for the use of photo screening in a manner that is consistent with American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus (AAPOS) recommendations, rules will not need to be amended to implement HB 3157. View the current vision and hearing screening rules. Also, see our vision screening for frequent questions


An audiometer measures various aspects of a person's ability to hear. To measure hearing accurately and to ensure that all audiometers perform consistently, Texas law requires that they be registered and calibrated. Read more about audiometers.

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