Title 16

Chapter 21
Health and Safety of Pupils

R.I. Gen. Laws § 16-21-14

§ 16-21-14. Hearing, speech, and vision screenings — Records — Statewide hearing screening program.

(a) The program shall provide for screenings of the hearing, speech, and vision of all children in these schools, and the preservation of records of the screenings of the children and notification of the parent or guardian of any child where there is an identified or suspected special health care need.

(b) Upon initial entry, all school children shall be given a hearing screening test by a properly trained professional employed by the department of elementary and secondary education, at intervals consistent with regulations promulgated by the director of health and the commissioner of elementary and secondary education.

(c) Pupils who failed the hearing screening test in previous years, repeat a grade, have a history of hearing difficulty or pathology, or are suspected by school personnel of a hearing loss shall be screened as often as is necessary.

(d) The program shall be known as the statewide hearing screening program. It shall be operated by the department of elementary and secondary education.

(e) The department is authorized and directed to maintain the program and provide equipment that may be necessary to implement the purposes of this section.

(f) Upon request from a local education agency the commissioner of elementary and secondary education may grant the local education agency permission to conduct its own hearing screening program after he or she first determines that the agency has a capacity to adhere to the screening schedule as outlined in this section and that properly trained professionals defined in regulation will be performing the activities.

(g) Tests shall not be required of any student whose parent or guardian objects on the ground that the tests conflict with their religious beliefs.

History of Section.
P.L. 1961, ch. 133, § 3; P.L. 1962, ch. 94, § 1; P.L. 1977, ch. 114, § 1; P.L. 1988, ch. 84, § 50; P.L. 2000, ch. 197, § 1; P.L. 2000, ch. 242, § 1.