There are hundreds of groups around the world making face masks as fast as they can to help slow the spread of COVID-19. While face masks can help to block particulates from entering the nose and mouth, they also make it impossible to see the mouth moving when the wearer is talking. This is actually a considerable limitation for people who are deaf or hard of hearing and who use visual cues to help them understand what a speaker is saying.
A college student who studies Education for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing at Eastern Kentucky University has now designed and is producing face masks that have a clear screen where the mouth is. This allows clinicians to more clearly interact with the patients they’re taking care of, helping to reduce anxiety, limit errors caused by misunderstandings, and speed up care.
This project was raising money to help defray costs, but the donations poured in quickly and the financial goal has already been met. Ashley Lawrence who developed the new masks, promises to release a Youtube video in the coming days that will demonstrate how others can build similar masks.
Although designed to help people with hearing issues, the new design would certainly help to maintain a closer level of human connection between patients and clinicians during this difficult time.
GoFundMe campaign: Reusable Masks for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Hat tip: LEX18