Screenshot from gofundme
Ashley Lawrence, a 21-year-old student studying education for the deaf and hard of hearing at Eastern Kentucky University noticed an issue for deaf people when it comes to dealing with the coronavirus so she and her mom decided to find a solution.
Ashley has decided to make face masks with a clear plastic panel in the middle, which makes the mouth of the wearer visible to the naked eye. This special mask provides massive assistance for Deaf and hard of hearing people, who mostly read lips or speak American Sign Language.
Lawrence told Lex 18 that the mask is “for anyone who uses speech reading, lip reading, anybody like that and people who are profoundly deaf who use ASL as their primary mode of communication. ASL is very big on facial expressions and it is part of the grammar.”
“I felt like there was a huge population that was being looked over,” Lawrence further told Lex 18. “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 also said that she and her mother are still experimenting with different kinds of masks, including ones that wrap around the head or neck to accommodate people with cochlear implants or hearing aids. You can help Ashley with her initiative by donating on her gofundme page.