College Student Invents Face Mask For The Deaf And Hard Of Hearing

Cool Facts
3 min readApr 6, 2020

Ashley Lawrence, a 21-year-old studying education for the deaf and hard of hearing at Eastern Kentucky University, has created a medical face mask that could be a game-changer for deaf and hard of hearing people amid the coronavirus pandemic.

NBC-affiliate LEX18 reports that Eastern Kentucky University senior Ashley Lawrence designed and is now actually producing face masks for those with hearing issues. The project is clearly personal to her, given that the 21-year-old student is studying education for the deaf and hard of hearing.

The masks, which Lawrence and her mother have been sewing using bedsheets and plastic fabric, covers the user’s mouth but also has a sheer plastic window that makes the mouth visible to others.

After a conversation with her mom, they put their craft skills to work.

“We started out making them with bedsheets that we had, and luckily bed sheets are big,” Lawrence said. “So we have two or three sets so we’re making them out of that. Then, a couple of 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.”

With her mission centred around the deaf and hard of hearing community, she is going the extra mile.

Brett Casey, CEO of Deaf Services and the Deaf Society in Australia, said the coronavirus pandemic highlighted the “lack of information for and considerations of the Deaf and hard of hearing community during times of crisis.”

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