Face masks have become an essential item since the very beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. While they do help keep people safer, the regular face masks that most of us wear are pretty limiting for the deaf community who practice lip-reading to communicate (no, sign-language isn’t the only way).
Thankfully, for the hearing impaired in Sulawesi, Indonesia, a tailor and her husband have created transparent face masks to aid them in communicating better while also staying safe.
In an effort to aid friends who were hearing impaired, the couple from Maksassar, Sulawesi began making face masks with a transparent plastic attached to the centre of it, displaying a person’s lips.
“Since the pandemic began, everybody started wearing face masks. For those who suffered from hearing disabilities, it was hard for them to communicate as they couldn’t read lip movements – this led to a lot of confusion,” said 52-year-old Faizah Badaruddin.
Previously, Faizah and her husband would usually sew pillows, bedsheets and curtains to sell to their customers. After the pandemic began and orders for her products slowed down, she started watching videos that taught her how to produce face masks instead.
Her small business has produced around two dozen transparent face masks since early April. The masks come in three sizes ranging from small, medium and big. Moreover, she’s selling each mask for the reasonable price of around 10,000 rupiah (RM2.80) to 15,000 rupiah (RM4.20)
Not many would go out of their way to invent a product suited for people with disabilities. For that selfless reason, we commend Faizah’s efforts and wish her the best in her endeavours.
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