Kemal Yildirim

Student makes lip-reading masks to help deaf people

A woman has begun creating clear face masks to help people who rely on lip-reading. Read this from the Grimsby Telegraph for more.


A Grimsby woman has sewn protective masks that enable lip-reading to help deaf people.

Megan Dunne, from New Waltham, said the masks – which have a clear panel over the mouth – help people with hearing issues feel less “alienated”.

The 21-year-old wanted to help out in any way she could and began sewing masks after her university course was cancelled due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Megan said: “I am constantly looking for items to make during this time that will help.

“I found the idea of making clear section masks to help people who rely on lip-reading, which means normal masks can make them feel alienated.

“They also allow much more of the wearer’s expression to be seen.

“The masks I found were around £16 and I felt that I could reduce that price to make them more accessible to the wider public.”

Megan, who studies textiles at Loughborough University, has been told her lip-reading masks have also helped her customers to better communicate with people with dementia.

She added: “I’ve actually received lovely messages about making these – one in particular that stuck out to me was a deaf lady who relied on lipreading who recounted a bad experience trying to understand someone wearing a mask and thanked me for making these.

“I have also been told that they help communicate with people with dementia. It’s very nice to know I’m making items that can have a positive impact at this time.”

As well as this, Megan has been helping to relieve people’s ear pains by making “normal” masks with headbands.

She said: “My textiles placement got cancelled due to coronavirus so when I came home I started making free headbands for NHS and carers.

“I made a mask to show how the headbands worked, never intending to keep making the masks. I got inundated with messages about making masks and supplying headbands.

It’s informed me on things I’d never considered with being told by NHS and carers that their skin is being worn away behind their ears, to the difficulties of masks preventing lip-reading.”

Megan has set up a Facebook page called ‘Meg Masks – Headbands and Masks’ and a new email address – megmakes.masks@gmail.com – where she accepts orders.

Her lip-reading masks sell for £6 and her ‘normal’ masks with headbands cost in the range of £10 – depending on size and style.

 

This article was written by Paige Freshwater from Grimsby Telegraph / Scunthorpe Evening Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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