LEXINGTON, Ky. — A Kentucky organization is making sure the hearing impaired can communicate with others while still being safe and wearing a mask.
Sarah Roof, whose 7-year-old son who is hard of hearing, understands the challenges face masks can place on her son and for those who have difficulty hearing. Sarah is part of a statewide organization called Kentucky Hands and Voices whose mission it is to support families with resources to help children who are deaf or hard of hearing.
“The masks have really made it difficult for the deaf and hard of hearing community, just to be able to access communication,” Roof said.
Kentucky Hands and Voices partnered with Newfangled Clothing in Richmond to create a clear panel mask called "access masks" to allow others to be able to read lips and facial expressions.
“Even for people who are not deaf or hard of hearing you know we've had people say I just want to be able to see somebody smile or, you know, or I didn't realize how much I relied on lip-reading even though I'm a typical hearing person.” Roof said.
Within 48 hours of posting on Facebook, Kentucky Hands and Voices have received over 1,500 orders. The organization is charging $15 per mask and they can be ordered online.