A deaf mother created a mask with a plastic window over the mouth to enable lip reading.
Experts are urging people to wear a face mask as a safety measure against coronavirus. However, wearing masks more frequently can be difficult for some people.
Justine Bate, 42, brought a creative solution to her problem. She created a mask with a plastic window, so she may recognize what others are saying while following precautionary measures. She made the mask to help herself and her 10-year-old daughter Teona to communicate easily.
Justine Bate’s husband and carer Carl Bate, 50, wear the mask and she is even receiving orders from care homes.
Other deaf people near her community have given orders for the masks. Mrs. Bate has already sold 42 masks on 27 May for £5.99 each.
Justin Bate is deaf since birth and her parents are also deaf. She knows sign language.
Mrs. Bate, from Manchester, said, “We can’t make them quickly enough for what people need.’
“From the messages, we are getting a lot of people from care homes – people who have got dementia and children who have got certain types of autism where they are actually scared of people with this full face mask on.”
“It is easier as they do not get scared.”
“A lot of messages are from people with carers that work with care homes that want these masks where they can actually see the lips so it is not scary.”
She added, “They look a bit different but it is the interests of the patient that is important. You can look stupid but as long as your patient is feeling calm it is a benefit for that person.
“It was not to do with making money it was to do with doing something for our daughter for making her life easier.”
The couple said that they got an amazing response, as it has helped the deaf community.
Mrs. Bate said, “She’s a bit apprehensive but she’s been honest with people that it’s not PPE quality as there is no filter.”
“Even people from the care homes said they are not bothered because of the ability to communicate with disabled people in an easier way. It’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.”
“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.”
The couple said that they tried several ways to create masks to ensure they are effective and are not too thick.
“She needed something that is easily going to be able to stitch because the plastic is stitched into the fabric.”
The plastic is stitched into the fabric and it needed to be something that’s not going to be too thick that it’s not going to blur the lips when lip-reading with condensation.”