The Missouri Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing announced today that they’re making clear, accessible masks available to Missourians.
These accessible masks have clear fronts, which allow people to clearly see an individual’s mouth while they speak. This aspect of communication is critical for those who read lips and an integral part of effective communication for those who speak American Sign Language.
Chris Johnson, the Deaf Community Advocate at the Commission, announced the availably of the masks on YouTube.
“We are distributing clear masks as a way to support improved communication access to the Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing Community in Missouri,” Johnson said. “This allows us to communicate with doctors and medical professionals in the healthcare industry.”
This communication is especially important during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and the masks, which are medical grade, were purchased in collaboration with the state through the CARES Act.
These masks are available, free of charge, to any Deaf or Hard of Hearing Missourians, as well as to medical professionals and interpreters. To request one of these masks, visit mcdhh.mo.gov/masks and follow the “Click here to request your PPE from MCDHH” link at the bottom of the page.
According to a MCDHH representative, as of this afternoon, they have already received more than 150 requests and hope to begin fulfilling requests in June.