A Special Facemask Created For Deaf And Hard Of Hearing People By A College Student

A Kentucky college student, Ashley Lawrence, discovered that there’s an accessibility issue as concerns the coronavirus safety measures. She discovered there was a difficulty in communication for the deaf and hard of hearing people because the facemasks cover their mouths, making lip reading hard.

The 21-year-old Ashley Lawrence who studies education for the deaf and hard of hearing at Eastern Kentucky University brainstormed with her mom to find a solution for this communication issue that the deaf and hard of hearing were facing.

Ashley now makes face masks with a clear plastic panel in the middle, making the wearers mouth visible. This model is oh great help to the Deaf and hard of hearing people, who may read lips or speak American Sign Language.

Speaking to Lex 18, Ashley said “I felt like there was a huge population that was being looked over.” “We’re all panicking right now and so a lot of people are just not being thought of. So, I felt like it was very important that, even at a time like this, people need to have that communication.”

Ashley mentions that she and her mother are experimenting with different kinds of masks, including ones that wrap around the head or neck to accommodate people with cochlear implants or hearing aids. In just a few days dozens of orders for the masks have come and her masks are going for free to anyone who needs one.