Student Makes Special Face Mask For People Who Are Deaf Or Hard Of Hearing

by : Julia Banim on : 03 Apr 2020 12:24
Student Makes Special Face Mask For People Who Are Deaf Or Hard Of HearingAshley Lawrence/Facebook

A clever student from Kentucky has been designing and sewing face masks for those from the deaf and hard of hearing community.

Ashley Lawrence, who studies deaf education at Eastern Kentucky University, had noticed how many people have begun crafting their own face masks due to a shortage of medical supplies. However, she couldn’t see any which would have been suitable for those who are deaf or hard of hearing.


Taking matters into her own hands, resourceful Ashley picked up a sewing needle and began making her own; complete with transparent screens across the mouth area to allow for lip reading.

Student Makes Special Face Mask For People Who Are Deaf Or Hard Of HearingAshley Lawrence/Facebook

These transparent screens enable those who can lipread to see and read the lips of those wearing the masks.

This also allows people to more accurately observe the facial expressions of the person behind the mask, which wold be an important factor for those who communicate using American Sign Language.


Sharing pictures of her innovative mask on Facebook, Ashley wrote:

So right before the pandemic, masks were made and made commercialized to help people with hearing loss have access to their doctor’s mouths for lip reading/speech reading.

Because of the shortage of masks, everyone started making their own, so I thought: why not make them for all?? This is how we stay #HealthyatHome

deaf maskAshley Lawrence/Facebook

She later added:


I am completely overwhelmed with the love you all have given these masks! We’ve updated the pattern for the mask to be easier to make. We’d love to make you some, or send you the pattern to make your own!! We are #TogetherKentucky

Writing in an email to CBS News – signed the DHH Mask Project – Ashley explained how those involved in her project had originally planned to make accessible masks within her local community in Kentucky.

Those involved reportedly have ‘no prior experience in sewing’ and are now working to put together a group to help make the masks, which are said to be in ‘high demand’.

It’s okay to not panic about everything going on in the world right now. LADbible and UNILAD’s aim with our campaign, Cutting Through, is to provide our community with facts and stories from the people who are either qualified to comment or have experienced first-hand the situation we’re facing. For more information from the World Health Organization, click here.

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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: News, deaf, face mask


Ashley Lawrence/Facebook and 1 other
  1. Ashley Lawrence/Facebook

    Ashley Lawrence/Facebook

  2. CBS News

    College student sews face masks designed for the deaf and hard of hearing community