Illustration: Sonia Pulido

Mary Louise Kelly has hearing loss and is co-host of NPR’s “All Things Considered” and the podcast “Consider This.” In a recent Wall Street Journal column [here, subscription required], she writes about her challenges communicating from behind a PPE mask.

“What if coronavirus is changing daily habits for good?” she worries. Will life be tied to hearing aid batteries, which can fail at the worst possible moments as hers did when she was anchoring live coverage of the president’s Senate impeachment trial?

Surprisingly, Ms. Kelly makes no mention of window masks, which aid many deaf and hard of hearing people. Window masks promote lip-reading and sign language communication. Lip readers see the lips of individuals wearing window masks, and sign language users benefit, too. American Sign Language is a visual language that relies on facial and body movements for its grammar and meanings.

You can email info@hearingspeechdeaf.org if you need a window mask to aid your communication with the deaf and hard of hearing. Hearing Speech + Deaf Center is a nonprofit organization established in 1925. Today, we empower communication in Greater Cincinnati with care beyond compare. We provide deaf services and advocacy and top-notch clinical services (audiology, speech therapy, and occupational therapy) at three offices in southwestern Ohio.

 

Photo credit: Hearing Speech + Deaf Center