We should all wear face masks when outdoors but where do you get a clear face mask if you want to make communication easier for deaf people and for those that rely on lip reading?
Whether you are deaf or hearing, we have all noticed how difficult it is to understand someone with a mask on. Lip reading is a difficult skill to master – some words look the same on the lips so most lip reading is guesswork.
Lip reading and understanding someone’s facial expressions are a key feature of communication which is why clear face masks are a great idea.
If you are hearing and work with deaf people or have family members who are hard of hearing, a clear face mask can be a lifeline. If you are deaf your self, then wearing a clear face mask alerts people to your needs.
We have searched the internet to find clear face masks suitable for deaf and hard of hearing people. Here is a list of websites that sell clear face masks:
Face masks to buy:
There are lots of people on Facebook and Etsy who are selling masks. Here is our list of ones we found and believe to be bona fide sellers:
Molly Watt Trust:
Molly Watt Trust is selling clear face masks. The trust raises awareness about Usher Syndrome. A mask with a clear panel costs £5. You can order face masks from the website:
There is also a Facebook group called ‘Friendly Facemasks‘. You can go to their website and order one of their facemasks:
Another organisation that sells face masks with a clear panel is EcoTextura. These face masks are eco-friendly and they also donate re-usable face masks to vulnerable people.
Make your own:
What about making your own clear face mask? There are plenty of clips on Youtube that show you how to make a face mask with a transparent panel. These face masks would be suitable for deaf people:
Here is another clip:
The Centre for Disease Control (CDC) also provide drawings and plans to help you create your own mask. You can go to the page by clicking here.
Looking after your mask:
Which? is an independent organisation that provides information and guidance on everything that affects us as consumers. They provide detailed information about buying facemasks. They also have guidance on how to safely remove a facemask and how to wash re-usable face masks. The details can be found here.
The pandemic has seen community solutions to meet people’s needs. The pandemic has also made the medical profession realise how much medical care relies on facial expression. This realisation has prompted a company in Sweden to start developing a clear face mask that is medically safe and breathable. You can check out the company here.
Are there any other face mask makers we should add? let us know and we can add them to our list!