If you suspect your child has a hearing loss or a professional has suggested a referral for a hearing assessment, you would seek the services of an audiologist.
The profession of Audiology is governed under the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991 and the Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Act, 1991. Under these Acts, audiologists can perform hearing tests and are able to prescribe hearing aids, if needed, without requiring a physician’s referral. In some cases, audiology services are publicly-funded so there is no charge to the parent(s)/caregivers. However, some audiologists may charge a fee if the services are not covered under the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP). Please read below to find out if you may be eligible to access publicly-funded audiology services. However, it is always important to ask about costs when you are making an appointment.
Is your child eligible for assessment through the Infant Hearing Program?
- If your child is under 2 months of age and you suspect a hearing loss, your child is eligible for a hearing screen from your local infant hearing program. If a REFER result is obtained, a referral to an Infant Hearing Program Audiologist will be made.
- If your child is under 6 months of age and there is a risk factor for permanent hearing loss such as meningitis or a head injury or there are other concerns there is a permanent hearing loss, your child may eligible for an audiology assessment by an IHP trained audiologist.
- If your child is over 6 months of age, a permanent hearing loss must first be identified by a community audiologist. A referral to the Tri-Regional Infant Hearing Program can be submitted by the audiologist or your child’s doctor (fax: 905-472-7553) or you may contact the Service Provider in your area who will assist you in completing the referral.
Services provided by the Infant Hearing Program are publicly-funded so there is no charge to the parent(s) / caregiver(s). If you live in York or Durham Regions, Peterborough, Northumberland or Haliburton Counties or the City of Kawartha Lakes, contact the Tri-Regional Infant Hearing Program at: 1-888-703-5437 and choose option #4 for the Infant Hearing Program
Does your family doctor refer to an Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) or other Specialist who works at a hospital or clinic that provides audiology services?
If an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist is on-site when the hearing assessment is performed, such as in some hospitals or audiology clinics, the service may be insured under OHIP. In order to access an ENT, a referral from the family physician would be required.
Are there private audiology services available?
A registry of audiologists practicing in Ontario can be accessed at the College of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists of Ontario website at www.caslpo.com.