Special masks can help hard of hearing adults
According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), masks can make communication difficult for the approximately 48 million Americans with hearing loss. Masks muffle sound and take away a person’s ability to read lips and see facial expressions, which help people better understand what they’re hearing.
“Widespread mask use at this critical juncture in the pandemic is key to protecting the public health, but we want to make everyone aware that masks can pose communication challenges for anyone — especially people who are deaf or hard of hearing,” said ASHA President Theresa H. Rodgers, MA, CCC-SLP.
To aid communication while wearing a mask, ASHA offers everyone the following tips:
—Consider using a mask with a clear panel over the mouth (available from various online sites) or using a clear face shield (when appropriate).
—Make sure you have your communication partner’s attention before speaking.
—Face your partner directly, and make sure nothing is blocking your view.
—Talk a little louder (but don’t shout) and a little slower.
—Use your hands and your body language.
—Ask your partner if they understood you; if not, say it a different way or write it down.
—Move to a quiet place if you can.
—If you’re talking with someone new, ask if there’s anything you can do to make communication easier for both of you.
For more information and tips, visit http://bit.ly/ASHAtips.
For window masks, visit adcohearing.com/collections/adco-brand-masks or call 1-800-726-0851.