STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1162
RE: H.B. No. 987
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2021
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Health, to which was referred H.B. No. 987, H.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO HEARING AND VISION PROGRAM,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to increase the early identification of children with hearing or vision loss by establishing consistent protocols for hearing and vision screening and follow-up, screener training, and data collection for quality improvement.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Health, Disability and Communication Access Board, Executive Office on Early Learning, State Council on Development Disabilities, Early Childhood Action Strategy, Hawai‘i Speech-Language-Hearing Association, and three individuals.
Your Committee finds that the sooner a parent knows that their child may be identified as blind, deaf, deaf-blind, or hard of hearing, the more beneficial it is for the child. Early intervention and appropriate follow-up services can greatly impact a child's lifelong language and communication development. Your Committee also finds that this measure will allow the Department of Health to set recommended standards for vision and hearing screening based on national guidelines and best practices. Furthermore, a statewide screening protocol will ensure consistency between all organizations performing screening are using tools, screening procedures, and referral criteria based on evidence and best practices.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Making it effective upon its approval; and
(2) Making a technical, nonsubstantive amendment for the purposes of clarity and consistency.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Health that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 987, H.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 987, H.D. 1, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committees on Judiciary and Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Health,
JARRETT KEOHOKALOLE, Chair