Creating transparent masks to help the deaf
A student who teaches deaf education at eastern Kentucky University noted that many people have begun to make their own masks, given the shortage caused by the outbreak of the new coronavirus around the world, but also noted the lack of interest in designing masks that suit the needs of deaf people and those with hearing difficulties, so she decided to make them herself.
Ashley Lawrence, the author of the idea, said that before the pandemic, she was making masks commercially to help people with hearing impairments communicate with doctors, so that it is easier for the deaf to read the mouths of those in front of them and move their lips, noting that “because of the lack of masks, everyone started making their own masks, so I thought, “Why aren’t they made for everyone?” This way we all stay healthy at home.”
According to photos posted by Ashley on Facebook, the masks she designs feature a transparent part, which allows the deaf and hearing impaired to read the lips of their speakers from behind the masks.
Transparent masks also give everyone an opportunity to see the face of those wearing them, which is important for those who speak sign language.