- Associated Press - Sunday, October 1, 2017

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Rhode Island is looking at how it could better serve deaf and hard of hearing children when they’re toddlers.

Lawmakers recently approved establishing a legislative commission to study early intervention services during a rare fall session.

It will have 24 members, including legislators, medical professionals and groups that work with deaf and hard of hearing children.

Rep. Arthur Handy and Sen. Stephen Archambault, both Democrats, sponsored legislation to create the commission.

Handy says there seems to be variation in whether younger children who are deaf or hard of hearing get the services they need. He says the commission’s goal is to ensure they’re properly connected to the available services early, regardless of socioeconomic background, location or anything else.

The commission is supposed to report back to the General Assembly by February.

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