I appreciate how difficult it can be for deaf and hard of hearing people to navigate a society where mask-wearing is the norm.
Communication for virtually all deaf people, including those who use sign language, relies in part on being able to see someone’s face clearly, whether this is for lip-reading, understanding facial expressions or for understanding non-verbal communication more widely.
An obstruction to the mouth makes it extremely difficult, if not impossible, for a deaf person to understand what is being said. Face masks also have the effect of obscuring and muffling speech, making it harder for deaf people to make use of any residual hearing that they have.
The National Deaf Children’s Society has shared its top tips for communicating with deaf children and young people. I have posted the info-graphic below for you to see.
I have also written to the Chief Executive of NHS England, Sir Simon Stevens, to ask him to review the commissioning and availability of protective face masks and visors/shields for use in health settings. You can also see a copy of this below.