College Student Has Been Sewing Free Face Masks For Communicating With Hearing-Impaired Folks
This pandemic has brought forth several different problems for different groups of people. With the shortage in N-95 masks comes another problem- what about people who are hearing-impaired? While most governments haven’t been able to concentrate on this problem, 21-year-old college student Ashley Lawrence has found a remedy. Face masks that have a transparent plastic covering over the mouth would be quite beneficial for hearing-impaired people.
According to the American Sign Language, lip-reading is a major component in understanding speech. So, when masks cover up the lips while speaking, it naturally puts a lot of stress on the hearing-impaired in trying to decipher what is being spoken.
Lawrence decided to do something about it that would not put a question mark on her studies while helping others in need. She is a student of the Education for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing at Eastern Kentucky University. Due to the pandemic, she is studying from home. Thus she had ample time on her hands to work on those lip-free face masks.
Masks for Hearing-impaired People: Increasing Demand
For this, she decided to take the help of her mother, and a GoFundMe page, that would help her in assisting with the costs of delivery, and fundings. But after she hit her goal of $3,300, she decided to cancel the page. Her masks have a plastic window over the lips, which would definitely keep out the harmful virus while allowing hearing-impaired people to understand what is being spoken out.
The initial idea was to organize a group of volunteers who would help in the manufacturing and distribution around Kentucky. But her product has been so useful that hospitals from all over the state and country have been utilizing her masks. This has resulted in her opening up a Facebook page called DHH Mask Project. This would help with all the fundings that this entrepreneur needs.
Lawrence also decided to improve the conditions of the hearing-impaired people by releasing a YouTube video of DIY masks. It would help people all over the world battle this pandemic together. If you need a mask urgently, you can still mail her at email@example.com