Blindness separates us from things but deafness separates us from people. hellen keller. Research: key influence in the establishment of the early hearing detection and intervention (ehdi) programs. Children with normal cognitive or thinking abilities, identified by age 6 months, develop language levels comparable to those of their hearing peers, and significantly higher than those of babies identified after 6 months of age. Vocabulary was also significantly higher in those babies whose deafness was identified before 6 months of age, when they received effective intervention services. 1999: ny rep. jim walsh introduced the newborn and infant screening and intervention act. then, created the ehdi program within the u. s. department of health and human services. 2006: average of 95. 7% of newborns were screened nationally. Why universal newborn hearing screening (unhs) is important. 1 to 3 babies per 1,000 will be born with a permanent hearing loss each year in the united states. Approximately 1 in 1,000 newborns is born profoundly deaf.