#Versailles, KY, student Ashley Lawrence has channeled #quarantine time into making specialized masks for the deaf and hard of hearing during the #coronavirus #pandemic. “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?” explained the 21-year-old Kentuckian college senior. Lawrence is studying education for the hearing impaired and spotted the gap. “I felt like there was a huge population that was being looked over,” Lawrence said. “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.” She also explained why these masks — which sport a transparent plastic window in the front to enable lip-reading — are so important: “ASL is very big on facial expressions and it is part of the grammar. So I don’t know if you have seen Virginia Moore on Andy Beshear’s things at five o’clock, but she’s very emotive, and if half of that is gone because you’re wearing a mask, then half of what you’re saying is being missed, so even if it’s not physically talking and just using ASL, then you need to have that kind of access.” Lawrence recruited her mother to the project, and the two started with their own bedsheets. “We started out making them with bedsheets that we had, and luckily bed sheets are big,” she 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.” “We’re trying different things for people with cochlear implants and hearing aids if they can’t wrap around the ears,” Lawrence continued. “We’re making some that have around the head, and around the neck.” But while Lawrence has a #GoFundMe available for those who would like to support her efforts, she refuses to charge for the masks themselves.
19 thoughts on “#Versailles, KY, student Ashley Lawrence has channeled #quarantine time into mak…”
AMAZING!!! What a brilliant idea! @mamawondo
Is that N96?
Ok so this is cool, but isn’t there still sign language
What a smart lady!
This is why America is so great
This might be just the thing I need to make. My husband, who is hard of hearing, seems to be lip reading lately. #DarnOldAge
@angelaisabellanunez especially liked that one commenter mentioned Autistic kids also look at lips often also… maybe a need in our local community?
oh, wow, next she can slam a revolving door
Thank you! This is so important. My 92 year old mother in law is profoundly deaf and reading lips is so necessary for her understanding! God bless you!
That’s just how we are in the Bluegrass State.
This is a great idea!! This situation just occurred to me bc I could not communicate with a new mom that was hearing impaired and depended on reading my lips!!