Are clear masks the way to clearer communication? The deaf community isn’t so sure.

shared courtesy of Yahoo Life

The precautions put in place to contain the coronavirus have created obstacles for many. But for the deaf community, it’s been a particularly harrowing battle. On top of the noticeable absence of sign language interpreters to communicate developments in the crisis, those with hearing loss who communicate through lip-reading have had to contend with the use of masks, which obstruct their ability to do so.

In recent weeks, the movement to switch to masks that are either partially or fully transparent — in hopes to alleviate one aspect of this struggle — has been growing. There are countless iterations of this appearing online: a transparent surgical mask (called the ClearMask); masks with clear windows being sewn by a college student in Kentucky; and even do-it-yourself templates posted online.

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