Lip-reading may seem like the kind of thing that you only see in spy-movies, but in reality, everyone who is living without visual impairment relies heavily on visual information in order to recognise speech.
For people living with any form of hearing loss; lip movement and facial expressions can provide much-needed visual cues that allow them to better comprehend what is being communicated.
Unfortunately, face-masks have become a regular part of day-to-day life in recent times, and the way in which they impede a person’s ability to read facial expressions can limit communication for people that are hearing impaired.
After drawing inspiration from the thousands of people around the globe who are making face-masks at home, 21-year-old Ashley Lawrence and her mother decided that they were going to create face-masks for people who live and work with the hearing impaired.
Ashley is currently in her final year of studying education for the deaf and hearing-impaired at the University of Kentucky.
Like many of us, Ashley now finds herself working and studying from home, but all this newfound free-time has allowed Ashley and her mother to hone their crafting skills for an extremely positive cause.
Ashley and her mother began handcrafting these customised masks using a combination of bed sheets, elastic, and a roll of soft textured clear plastic.
This clear plastic is used as a window in the middle of the mask which allows those interacting with the wearer to have a clear line of sight to their lips and mouth area.
In only a number of days, Ashley and her mother have already received dozens of orders from around the US and have been sending the masks out free of charge.
Although there have not been any requests from other countries, Ashley claims that the masks would still be completely free but the recipient may have to pay for shipping.
Ashley and her mother are also working on a range of masks with other variations that are better suited for wearers who wear hearing aids or have cochlear implants.
Prior to this amazing endeavour, Ashely had no sewing or crafting experience, but thanks to her mother’s teaching, this initiative has strengthened their bond and given Ashley a brand new skillset.
Anyone who would like to assist with the cost of materials and shipping can donate via her GoFundMe page.
Photo Credit – LEX18 News Youtube