As we adjust to a new normal of wearing face masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19, I’m mindful about the impact on deaf people and individuals who are hard of hearing who often depend on lip-reading in their daily life.

As face coverings are likely to be with us for a long time, it’s important we are aware of some of the new barriers this may create and how we can best mitigate these.

If you know, or regularly engage with deaf individuals, consider wearing a mask with a clear panel so your mouth is visible. Otherwise you can write down what you want to say or even use an app that translates speech into text. See here for useful resources for making your own transparent face mask and other hints and tips from the National Deaf Children’s Society.