Non-profits, CEMA team up to give out face masks that help the deaf read lips

Non-profits, CEMA team up to give out face masks that help the deaf read lips

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - People across the country are wearing face masks to protect themselves and others from the coronavirus.

But those who are deaf or hard of hearing may find it difficult to communicate with others right now because they rely on seeing people’s facial expressions or reading lips.

The non-profit All Hands On, The Georgia Association of the Deaf, and Chatham Emergency Management are teaming up to give out specialized face masks for those communities.

This means the masks will have a transparent window over the mouth area. They’ll give away 250 of those accessible face masks during the drive thru distribution this Saturday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

They’ll be at Compassion Christian Church’s Henderson Campus. Organizers say they hope the drive will help improve communication for people with hearing issues.

“What we’re hoping to do is really increase or improve the accessibility for communication now masks are great, they are wonderful for reducing the spread of COVID-19, but one of the difficult things is especially for us in the deaf community, it’s difficult for us to see, to read a persons lips or to see their facial expressions through these masks,” said Wade Doster, President of Georgia Association of the Deaf.

They’re also encouraging the families of people with hearing problems to also get the masks. It’ll help them communicate with their loved ones easier.

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