May 5, 2020. May is Better Hearing Month. With social distancing and preventative measures in place for reducing the risk of coronavirus (Covid-19) cases and keeping everyone safe, it’s making hearing accessibility issues more and more relevant…. not to mention frustrating…. and bringing them to the forefront. Clear-window masks have been mentioned several times in this blog as one simple way to ensure that people can continue to use speechreading techniques, and it’s important that we start to look for ways to encourage use of these masks.
A few days ago, a friend from Charlottetown sent the following anecdote…. “This morning outside the supermarket I spoke for 10-15 minutes or so with a friend (at the required distance) and I only had to ask her a couple of times to repeat what something she had said. When I came out of the store she was standing there (with her mask on this time) and said something to me. It was totally useless for me – I could not understand a word. This incident validated in spades thoughts that I have had lately about the fact that cloth masks worn by others who are trying to speak with me render me essentially deaf. Given that it appears that wearing masks in public is going to become VERY normal for the foreseeable future, I think that it would be worth my/our while to raise the issue with various public officials.” So, please, encourage the use of clear-window masks.
Normally, May is a month in which a fundraiser at the Bonshaw Hall helps provide funds for outreach activities. Unfortunately, it seems unlikely that this event will be able to take place this year. While physical outreach activities may be limited this year, virtual activities continue, such as our YouTube videos. If we receive enough funding, we would like to continue this project.
Have you watched one of our YouTube videos? Subscribe to our YouTube Channel:
If you would like to make a donation, here is the link: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/34708. Donations are used 100% for outreach activities as everyone is a volunteer.
Thank you to the friend from Charlottetown for sharing an anecdote. Do you have an experience with trying to communicate with people wearing masks to share? Send an email to email@example.com. You can also comment on this blog, or send a tweet to @HearPEI. Stay safe!
© Daria Valkenburg