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Release: April 25, 2002  

Special project will help screen for vision and hearing loss among preschoolers

Area Education Agencies (AEAs) across Iowa will receive screening devices that detect early hearing loss among children at the statewide AEA speech and hearing meeting on April 25 in Waverly, Iowa

The hearing screening devices are being donated by the Lions Clubs of Iowa and the University of Iowa under their "Coming to Your Senses" program. The joint effort is intended to detect vision and hearing loss early among children in the preschool age group. Early detection and treatment can prevent permanent and debilitating loss of vision and improve language and reading impairments in young children. Up to five percent of preschool age children may have undetected hearing or vision loss.

"By assisting AEAs across the state, more preschool children can be screened, possibly detecting problems earlier, enabling them to benefit more fully from treatment," said Del Brown, Lions project director of the "Coming To Your Senses" program. The project also educates the public about the risk of undetected vision and hearing loss among infants and young children. The project has been made possible by financial support from the Iowa Lions, the Lions Clubs International Foundation and the Wellmark Foundation of Iowa.

The screening process is painless and risk-free. Screeners provide the examination at no charge. Children identified with a potential vision or hearing problem are referred to local AEAs or health care professionals for evaluation and possible treatmen