Masks are not the end all be all solution for fighting COVID-19. Yes they do help but for some they are very hard to work with. Especially if you depend on reading lips when someone speaks to you, which is the case for many that are deaf and hard of hearing. 21-year-old Ashley Lawrence a college senior from Versailles decided she was going to put her cabin fever to good use. She created the first mask for the deaf and hard of hearing which allows you to see mouths with a clear screen.
“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?” She explained, “I felt like there was a huge population that was being looked over. 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.”
Lawrence is studying education for the deaf and hard of hearing at Eastern Kentucky University. She is now living at home and doing her student teaching online for her students at the university. Since living at home her and her mom decided they would take their craftiness and try to make something to help the community.
“We started out making them with bed sheets that we had, and luckily bed sheets are big,” Lawrence said. “So we have two or three sets so we’re making them out of that. Then, a couple 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.”
It’s always nice when someone who sees a problem fills a need. And now thanks to Ashley and her mother many who were suffering before will be able to have the ability to “hear” restored. If you would like to order a mask you can email Ashley at [email protected].