July 29, 2003

In this Issue:

1. National Campaign Reports Status of State-Level Screening for Hearing Loss at Birth

Source: MCH Alert - July 25, 2003

Listen Up! Is Your State Making the Grade on Infant Hearing Screenings? analyzes the current status of infant hearing screening. It is the fourth annual state-by-state report card issued by the National Campaign for Hearing Health (NCHH), an initiative of the Deafness Research Foundation. NCHH, in partnership with the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management, released the 2003 findings to promote awareness, advocacy, education, and legislation related to the number one birth defect in the United States -- hearing loss. The report card includes information on the total number of births in each state, the percentage of infants screened for hearing loss in each state, and which states have policies or mandates supporting early hearing loss detection and intervention. The report card also presents the grade (excellent, good, or unsatisfactory) NCHH gave each state. The report card and accompanying state map (available as a PDF file) are intended for use by policymakers, program administrators, educators, and others working to put hearing health on the national agenda.

The report card is available at http://www.hearinghealth.net/hhk03/may2003r.pdf (URL inactive 11/7/2006. For updated state information on infant hearing screenings go to http://www.infanthearing.org/status/unhsstate.html).

[Originally published in MCHAlert 2003 National Center for Education in Maternal and Child Health and Georgetown University. Reprinted with permission.]

2. Education and Care: Head Start Key Among Array of Early Childhood Programs, but National Research on Effectiveness Not Completed

Source: Today's GAO Reports - July 22, 2003

On July 22, 2003 the General Accounting Office (GAO) released the following testimony: Education and Care: Head Start Key Among Array of Early Childhood Programs, but National Research on Effectiveness Not Completed, by Marnie S. Shaul, Director, Education, Workforce, and Income Security Iissues, before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. GAO-03-840T, July 22.
http://www.gao.gov/highlights/d03840thigh.pdf - Highlights

3. Final Report of the President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health

Source: www.mentalhealthcommission.gov/ - July 22, 2003

President George W. Bush established the President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health in April 2002 as part of his commitment to eliminate inequality for Americans with disabilities. The President directed the Commission to identify policies that could be implemented by Federal, State and local governments to maximize the utility of existing resources, improve coordination of treatments and services, and promote successful community integration for adults with a serious mental illness and children with a serious emotional disturbance.

From June 2002 to April 2003, the 22 Commissioners met monthly to analyze the public and private mental health systems, visit innovative model programs across the country and hear testimony from the systems' many stakeholders, including dozens of consumers of mental health care, families, advocates, public and private providers and administrators and mental health researchers. The Commission received feedback, comments and suggestions from nearly 2,500 people from all 50 states via personal testimony, letters, emails and a comment section on this website. In addition to public comment, the Commission consulted with nationally recognized professionals with expertise in diverse areas of mental health policy...

The Commission's final report to the Presidents is now available at http://www.mentalhealthcommission.gov/reports/reports.htm. Additional information about the Commission and the Final Report are available at http://www.mentalhealthcommission.gov/

4. Notice Inviting Applications for FY 2003 Competitions under Three Programs Authorized under Part D, Subpart 2 of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

Source: Federal Register - July 21, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 139)

This notice announces closing dates, priorities, and other information regarding the transmittal of grant applications for FY 2003 competitions under three programs authorized under part D, subpart 2 of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, as amended. The three programs are: (1) Special Education--Technical Assistance and Dissemination to Improve Services and Results for Children with Disabilities (4 priorities); (2) Special Education--Technology and Media Services for Individuals with Disabilities (1 priority) and (3) Special Education--Training and Information for Parents of Children with Disabilities (1 priority).

Complete information is available at: http://www2.ed.gov/legislation/FedRegister/announcements/2003-3/072103d.html