Clear face masks make it easier for people who rely on lip reading and facial expressions to communicate and connect – people who are deaf or hard of hearing, people with a learning disability, a speech difficulty, autism, dementia or English as a second language are particularly affected.
This video gives a simple explanation of the campaign.
The campaign is also calling to Make signs, leaflets, newsletters and online information clearer and more accessible, in support of people with sight loss, a learning disability or communication difficulty.
We are calling on all charities and businesses, from supermarkets to leisure centres, to hold in mind a wide range of people when communicating.
- Is everyone included and welcomed into your business or activity?
- Is information easy to understand and shared in different formats, such as
- easy read or symbol-based information
- large print
- videos with subtitles or
- videos with British Sign Language?
Sarah, who lives in the Diocese of Gloucester said, “I have moderate-profound hearing loss. If I go somewhere and reception staff are wearing opaque masks, I can’t understand what is being said. I’ve been to meetings where people have worn masks and I can’t hear what’s said unless it’s repeated by someone without a mask.
“It really hurts when people say lipreading masks are uncomfortable. I know they are because it’s the only type of mask I will wear so that everyone can hear me too.
“Living in a largely masked community is like being in a country where you don’t know the language.
“It’s the same when having to stand and chat from a distance outside – I am not going to hear much of anything you say. It would help if everyone wore clear masks or shields as standard – then designs would very quickly be improved upon.”
Staff within the Diocese of Gloucester are helping the Barnwood Trust to test a selection of clear face masks for usability. The results of the trial will be back in a few weeks and we will share the findings in the Bulletin.
A list of places to buy clear facemasks can be found on the Let’s Be Clear website www.letsbeclearcampaign.org/get-clear-face-masks