A student and her mum sew transparent masks for the deaf

It seems an original idea, but this type of masks already exists. The problem is, they cannot be found easily. That’s why an American student and her mum decided to start sewing transparent masks for the deaf and hearing-impaired, in order to improve the communication with them in this difficult period.

They are masks like many others, but it has a transparent piece of plastic in the center, that permits to see the mouth. Ashley Lawrence, a student from Kentucky, United States, is sewing with her mother masks for the deaf and hearing-impaired community.

All these masks will travel to any region of the Unites States in order to help the deaf and hearing-impaired to find these masks easily. The young student explains that these types of masks already exist. They are made with the tissue used for surgical masks and have a piece of transparent piece. However, just like normal protections, these have become difficult to find, too.

Ashley Lawrence and her mask for the deaf

Thanks to these masks, the deaf and hearing-impaired will be able to keep on communicating with each other and also to break down the barrier with who may do not comprehend the sign language. She took a model of a common surgery mask and adapted to those who read the lips or who, during communication with the sign language, rely on facial expressions to understand meanings and intentions.

For example, a deaf or a hearing-impaired patient allegedly affected by COVID19 who has to explain his condition and to understand the indications of a doctor or a nurse has fewer difficulties if wearing a transparent mask.

But soon she will have the necessity to buy other material and that’s why she is in need of money to produce other masks. For that, she raised fundraising. Check out for it here.

The US is moving rapidly to realize masks for the deaf against COVID19. What about Italy?

On 28th March, many fabrics and facilities requested to the Italian Government to be converted into producers of masks for the deaf in order to cover the necessity of hospitals, care houses and ambulance associations (The italian request). However, the Minister of Economics Development still has to issue feedback on this. So, still no news about PPEs for the deaf, the hearing-impaired and other people affected by disabilities.

With a letter on 20th March, the President of Quadrifoglio association in Ravenna explained the heavy problems that the deaf are facing in terms of communication during this state of emergency.

We only hope that the example of other countries, in this case, the US, can move the sense of humanity and make Governments tear the bureaucracy apart.




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