(1) The Legislature finds that:
(a) Hearing loss occurs in newborns more frequently than any other health condition for which newborn screening is required;
(b) Early detection of hearing loss in a child and early intervention and treatment before six months of age has been demonstrated to be highly effective in facilitating a child's language, communication, and educational development;
(c) Children of all ages can receive reliable and valid screening for hearing loss in a cost-effective manner; and
(d) Appropriate screening and identification of newborns and infants with hearing loss will facilitate early intervention and treatment in the critical time period for language development and may serve the public purposes of promoting the healthy development of children and reducing public expenditure for health care, special education, and related services.
(2) The purpose of the Infant Hearing Act is:
(a) To provide early detection of hearing loss in newborns at the birthing facility, or as soon after birth as possible for those children born outside of a birthing facility, to enable these children and their families and other caregivers to obtain needed multidisciplinary evaluation, treatment, and intervention services at the earliest opportunity and to prevent or mitigate the developmental delays and academic failures associated with late detection of hearing loss; and
(b) To provide the state with the information necessary to effectively plan, establish, and evaluate a comprehensive system for the identification of newborns and infants who have a hearing loss.