During this time of doom and gloom, it's refreshing to see something positive for a change.
But some clever people have been creating face masks for the deaf and hard of hearing and our hearts are well and truly melted.
Right now, face masks are in pretty high demand...
via: Getty ImagesWhile they aren't proven to completely protect us from COVID-19, many people are opting to don them nevertheless.
And some have been getting creative and making their own.
That’s me 9 days in isolation. Symptoms abating in last 2 days. Looking forward to walking my wee dug soon. Have ma… https://t.co/tWC3xE05F4— Gillian Martin (@Gillian Martin)1585414334.0
But there is one huge issue with the design...They actually make life extremely difficult for the deaf and hard of hearing community.
via: Getty ImagesThey make it impossible to be able to lip-read someone considering the whole of the mouth area is completely covered up.
This makes communicating even harder.
Seeing all the coronavirus screening by PHONE on TV coverage. What are deaf people supposed to do? During SARS, I w… https://t.co/ixhNDBixT4— Dr. Kathryn Woodcock (@Dr. Kathryn Woodcock)1584069703.0
But many out there have come up with an ingenious solution.
via: FacebookIncluding the mom from Manchester, UK - Justine Bate.
It all started last month with one college student.
via: FacebookTwenty-one-year-old Ashley Lawrence, a college senior from Versailles, has created a project designed to help the deaf and hard of hearing community.
Ashley is currently studying education for the deaf and hard of hearing at Eastern Kentucky University.
via: FacebookBut, due to COVID-19, she has had to move back home and continue her student teaching in self-isolation.
So, she has put her isolation stir-craziness to good use.
via: FacebookAnd has designed a face mask for the deaf and hard of hearing.
"I felt like there was a huge population that was being looked over."
via: Facebook"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," Ashley explained.
So, after a conversation with her mom...
via: FacebookThe pair put their craft skills to work.
They began by making the masks out of bed sheets they had.
via: Facebook"We started out making them with bedsheets that we had, and luckily bed sheets are big. "So we have two or three sets so we're making them out of that."
But, a couple of months ago...
via: FacebookThe mother-daughter duo changed up the design.
They incorporated plastic fabric into the mask.
via: Facebook"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."
Ashley is going the extra mile...
via: Facebook"We're trying different things too for people with cochlear implants and hearing aids if they can't wrap around the ears," she explained. "We're making some that have around the head and around the neck."
The plastic window is a key part of the design.
via: FacebookAs it aids those who rely on lip-reading to communicate.
Ashley doesn't charge anything for her masks.
via: Facebook"I'm not charging anything for them because I think that if you need them, then you need them and I don't think that you should have to pay for them."
And now another innovator has followed suit.
via: FacebookJustine Bate created similar masks to help her and daughter Teena to communicate, as they're both deaf.
She was worried her daughter would struggle to socialize without lip reading.
via: FacebookAnd took it upon herself to solve the problem!
Bate makes all the masks on her sewing machine.
via: FacebookAnd has already had more requests from the deaf community!
"We can't make them quickly enough for what people need."
via: Facebook"It was not to do with making money it was to do with doing something for our daughter for making her life easier," partner Carl explained.
"t's quite overwhelming but she's loving it. The deaf community can be quite a hard place to socialize. It does bring a lot of deaf people together."
via: Facebook"The amount of people who have come up to her and asked for these masks is quite overwhelming. She's loving the fact that she's helping others make a better quality of life in this situation." Want another heartwarming story from quarantine? Scroll on for the unlikely love story ...