Face masks with windows mean more than smiles to deaf people

Virus Outbreak One Good Thing Mask Windows
Posted at 10:31 AM, Jun 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-12 13:31:14-04

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Face coverings to curb the spread of the coronavirus are making it hard for people who read lips to communicate.

That has spurred a slew of startups making masks with plastic windows to show one’s mouth.

The companies are getting inundated with orders and not only from family and friends of deaf people.

Those who work with English learners also want them to help them see the pronunciation of words as do hospitals that want their patients to be able to see smiles.

Ingrid Helton, a costume designer who sewed one of the masks as a solution for a Fleet Science Center worker, says the masks are vital to providing information or feedback.

“You can tell so much by a facial expression, so it’s proving that it can be helpful to everybody,” Helton told the AP.