Student Makes Special Face Mask For People Who Are Deaf Or Hard Of Hearing
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.
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
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’.
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CreditsAshley Lawrence/Facebook and 1 other