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Senior student creates face masks for people with hearing impairments

Shared by Sara Di Fabio on 2020-04-06 12:20

About the solution

A college student from the Eastern Kentucky University is aiding the deaf and hard of hearing community by creating face masks that are suitable for them.

"I just saw that people were making masks on Facebook for everyone to have instead of the throwaway masks, and I was like, what about the deaf and hard of hearing population?"

"I felt like there was a huge population that was being looked over," Ashley said. "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 and her mum started making face masks for the deaf and hard of hearing using their bedsheets. "So we have two or three sets so we're making them out of that. Then, a couple of months ago we needed plastic fabric for something. And so we have a whole roll of that and the window is only this big so having a whole roll is very helpful so luckily we haven't needed any supplies yet," Ashley said.

She explained that they are also thinking about people with cochlear implants and a hearing aid that may not be able to wrap the mask around the ears. "We're making some that have around the head and around the neck," Ashley said.

"For anyone who uses speech reading, lip reading, anybody like that," Lawrence said about the purpose of the masks. "And people who are profoundly deaf who use ASL as their primary mode of communication. ASL is very big on facial expressions and it is part of the grammar. So I don't know if you have seen Virginia Moore on Andy Beshear's things at five o'clock, but she's very emotive, and if half of that is gone because you're wearing a mask then half of what you're saying is being missed, so even if it's not physically talking and just using ASL, then you need to have that kind of access."

In less than two days, Ashley already had dozens of orders from six states, she is giving them for free. "I'm not charging anything for them because I think that if you need them, then you need them and I don't think that you should have to pay for them," Lawrence said. "So we are sending them out for free whenever we have people asking for them and if they're foreign, then maybe we'll charge shipping, but other than that they're completely free."

Adapted from: https://www.lex18.com/news/coronavirus/college-student-makes-masks-for-t...

This solution shall not include mention to the use of drugs, chemicals or biologicals (including food); invasive devices; offensive, commercial or inherently dangerous content. This solution was not medically validated. Proceed with caution! If you have any doubts, please consult with a health professional.

About the author

Ashley Lawrence, born in 1999, from the USA, is a senior at the Eastern Kentucky University, studying education for the deaf and hard of hearing. Ashley and her mum started to make face masks for the deaf and hard of hearing by using their bed sheets and plastic fabric.

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