Student makes special masks for people with hearing problems

An undergraduate student from Versalies has used her sensitivity and creativity to help in these difficult times and the community of deaf or hard of hearing people.

“I saw on Facebook that people are making masks for everyone so that they aren’t just disposable ones, and I thought, what about the hearing and deaf population,” explained 21-year-old Ashley Lawrence.

Lawrence is an undergraduate student at the Department of Hearing and Deaf Education at Eastern Kentucky University. Due to the new coronavirus, she was forced to return to her home and volunteer at home.

“I felt there was a large population that was overlooked,” said the student. “We are all panicking this time around and so many people are not even in our minds. So I felt it was very important at such a time that these people could communicate too. ”

After a discussion with her mother, they used their skills in the sewing machine. “We started making them with sheets, and fortunately the sheets are big,” Lawrence said. “So we used 4 or 5 of them. Then, after two months, we needed plastic for the plastic window on the mask. Fortunately, we also had it at home, so we didn’t need raw materials yet. ”

Also, they are now testing different patents for people who have cochlear implants or hearing aids and cannot tie the masks behind their ears. They try some that wrap around the head or neck. He explained the importance of the plastic window in the masks and that this was the main issue from the beginning.

As she explains, those who read lips to understand or use sign language need to be able to see our mouths. Facial expressions are very important in sign language.

In less than 2 days, Lawrence already had dozens of orders from 6 different US states. She herself does not charge anything for the masks, because she considers that there is a need.