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Face Masks - Another barrier for the deaf community

Do you know someone with a hearing problem?

1 in 6 of the UK adult population is affected by some kind of hearing loss.

As wearing a face mask becomes the new norm, people who rely on facial expressions and lip-reading are finding themselves further isolated.

For others with sight problems, they are finding it difficult to hear what’s going on if they are wearing a visor style face covering. These can deflect the sound of voices and other noises from their ears.

It’s an issue that has been highlighted for many with face coverings now being compulsory as we go about our regular everyday tasks such as shopping and travelling on public transport.

Not being able to see facial expressions with masks has always been a problem for the deaf and hard of hearing. Unfortunately, it’s taken this pandemic to raise awareness of the issue and for people to realise that seeing someone’s face is so important.

Clear Masks

Clear masks and visors can make a big difference to a lot of people but there can be a cost implication.  In most shops and outlets you can purchase a disposable surgical mask for around £1 but clear masks can be four or fives times this cost.   If you are not affected by the issue, you may not know the difference a clear mask can make or want to spend the money on one.

The Government have promised to deliver 250,000 clear face masks to frontline workers to help those with disabilities but the problem will still remain for those going about their daily lives.

So if you work in retail, hospitality or any other public-facing business, make sure this is something you consider for your team.

It could help make this pandemic easier for millions.