Relevance of the International Classification of Functioning, Health and Disability: Children & Youth Version in Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Programs

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Early hearing detection and intervention (EHDI) programs have been guided by principles from the Joint Committee on Infant Hearing and an international consensus of best practice principles for family-centered early intervention. Both resources provide a solid foundation from which to design, implement, and sustain a high-quality, family-centered EHDI program. As a result, infants born with permanent hearing loss and their families will have the support they need to develop communication skills. These families also will benefit from programs that align with the framework offered by the World Health Organization's International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health: Children & Youth Version (ICF-CY). Within this framework, health and functioning is defined and measured by describing the consequences of the health condition (i.e., hearing loss) in terms of body function, structures, activity, and participation as well as social aspects of the child. This article describes the relevance of the ICF-CY for EHDI programs and offers a modified approach by including aspects of quality of life and human development across time.

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