Coronavirus Pandemic: This College Student Invented a Face Mask For the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

April 1, 2020

A college student in Kentucky is looking for a neighborhood that is difficult to hear during a coronavirus pandemic.

NBC affiliate LEX18 reported that Ashley Lawrence, a senior student at Eastern Kentucky University, has designed and is actually producing masks for people with hearing impairments. Since the 21-year-old student is learning about deafness and hearing impairment, the project is obviously personal to her.

Lawrence and her mother have been using sheets and plastic fabrics to sew masks that not only cover the user’s mouth, but also have a transparent plastic window that allows others to see the mouth.

Lawrence introduced the origin of her idea to the local news media. “We are all panicking now, so we don’t think of many people. So, I think it is very important that people need this kind of communication even at such moments.”

Lawrence said that masks are designed for people who use speech and lip reading or use American Sign Language (ASL) as a means of communication.

She explained: “ASL is very important in terms of facial expressions, it is part of the grammar.” “So, I don’t know if you have seen Virginia on Andy Beshear’s stuff at five o’clock. Moore (Virginia Moore), but she is very moved, if half disappeared because of wearing a mask, then half of what you said is omitted, so even if you are not talking physically, but just using ASL, you need to have This access. “

She added: “If the person wearing the cochlea and hearing aid can’t get around the ear, we will try different things.” “We are making something around the head and neck.”

Lawrence has been making masks for those who contacted her via email at dhhmaskproject@gmail.com and will not charge them. She does have a GoFundMe page that can offset the cost of materials and transportation. The page states that any funds raised at the end of the health crisis that are not directly used for masks will be donated to the non-profit organization Hands & Voices dedicated to deaf and hard of hearing Support for children ’s families.

Lawrence said: “I didn’t charge them anything, because I think if you need them, then you need them, and I don’t think you have to pay for it.” “So, as long as someone wants them, if they are foreigners, We will send them out for free, and then maybe we will charge shipping, but otherwise, they are completely free. “

In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, masks are in great demand, and some celebrities and organizations are using their resources to make them available. The Boston CBS reported on Thursday that the New England Patriot aircraft was flying 1.2 million masks from China to Boston. Fashion designer Christian Siriano (Christian Siriano) also provided sewing services after hearing that medical staff were insufficiently wearing masks during the coronavirus outbreak.