Push for clear masks to help the hearing impaired

Local News

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — As mask mandates have gone into effect, communication has become difficult for some, especially for the hearing impaired. Now there are alternative masks, that look to help make conversations easier to comprehend.

The transparent masks are perfect for those who are hard of hearing. It allows people to easily read lips, a technique that the hearing impaired can use to better grasp what is being communicated.

Ken Stewart a Clinical Audiologist and Owner of HearCare Audiology, is pushing for more people to use a clear mask to help close the potential communication gap.

“As human beings, we rely on speech reading and lip-reading so much. Research shows that when you combine the two, good hearing and speech reading, that it makes a huge huge difference,” explains Stewart, “So when people are covered up and can’t see your mouth move, it can be a real challenge. Especially if you are at a doctor’s office, or in a hospital not getting clear hearing or not being able to understand clear directives, could be a really big concern.”

The masks are medical-grade and Stewart has provided to some physicians to promote better hearing. They are also available to the public at HearCare Audiology. A single mask costs $5 dollars and a box of 24 masks is $100. HearCare Audiology Main Office is located at 5933 East State Blvd. in Fort Wayne.

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