College Student Sews Reusable Face Masks for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community
Handmade face masks customized for the deaf and hard of hearing
Sewers across the country are contributing handmade protective face masks for health care workers who are out on the frontlines to treat those who have been infected with the Coronavirus.
Ashley Lawrence, a college senior at Eastern Kentucky University, is studying education for the deaf and hard of hearing (DHH). Lawrence recognized that these face masks prevent those who rely on facial cues or lip reading to communicate with others. She took it upon herself to sew face masks that are made specifically for those who are deaf or hard of hearing.
Lawrence became aware that this entire segment of the population was not being taken into consideration. She knew that it was vital that the DHH community would be able to communicate with others.
Bedsheets and extra plastic crafting supplies were used to create masks that provide protection, but that also clearly displays the wearer’s mouth to help those who depend on lip-reading to communicate.
American Sign Language (ASL) utilizes a lot of facial expressions. Some people are very emotional when they speak, therefore when a mask is worn over someone’s face, half of what is said does not get translated.
Face masks for cochlear implant users and hearing aid users
Lawrence is in the process of creating other types of face masks for cochlear implant users or hearing aid wearers who cannot wrap the face masks over their ears. She decided to sew masks that can be tied around the head and the neck. She already received several orders of her mask. She is in the process of creating a pattern that can be shared over the web with sewers who would like to make their own.
Pure Sound will only be open by appointment and for essential visits at this time. Essential visits include all appointments that require repairs, re-fittings and new hearing aid fittings.
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