Rising To The Challenge To Hear – 3 Initiatives To Help – Face Shields, Hard of Hearing Buttons, and Clear-Window Masks

May 28, 2020.  May is Better Hearing Month and the small group at Hear PEI continues to address hearing accessibility issues with the challenges faced by social distancing and preventative measures in place for reducing the risk of coronavirus (Covid-19) cases and keeping everyone safe.  Past blog postings have covered some of these issues and suggested solutions:

Masks continue to be the number 1 issue worldwide… Now that hair salons are open on the Island, hairdressers must wear a mask and clients are encouraged to do so at well.  This can pose a challenge, as Annie Lee MacDonald found out: “…It certainly made me realize how much I depend on seeing people’s lips when they are speaking. The hairdresser is German and has a strong accent, it was difficult…”  (See how masks are being made in Europe: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-52764355 and one couple’s volunteer effort in Ontario: https://ottawasun.com/news/local-news/transparent-masks-made-to-assist-deaf-hard-of-hearing/wcm/64fe438c-041b-4e74-904c-84f0c06a8f9d)

Initiative Definition Button Showing Leadership Resourcefulness And Action

Three simple initiatives have been taken to mitigate the challenges faced by Islanders with hearing loss.  Efforts by a small group of Islanders may not get the media attention that many others get, but they do help and mean people can run their errands with more confidence.

Three initiatives are helping to mitigate the challenges faced by Islanders with hearing loss…

initiativeQueen Elizabeth Hospital in Charlottetown donated a limited supply of Face Shields, which are being offered to Hear PEI members to give out as needed to those they encounter who wear masks.  The Face Shields, made by Ford Motor Company of Canada Limited, are Class 1 Covid-19 medical devices, approved for distribution under an Interim Order by Health Canada. They have been enthusiastically received as they are simple to use and provide a clear view of lips and facial expressions. I’m going to take one to my hair appointment for my hairdresser to use!

20200524_140317 May 24 2020 Daria & Annie Lee with face shields

Daria Valkenburg and Annie Lee MacDonald with face shields donated by Queen Elizabeth Hospital.  (Photo credit: Pieter Valkenburg)

20200526_113905 May 26 2020 Joan Gallant with Face Shield

Joan Gallant found the face shields comfortable to wear.  “They aren’t hot” she explained.  (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

Marion Toole photo from Annie Lee

Marion Toole tries out her face shield.  (Photo  credit: Annie Lee MacDonald)

initiativeOur supply of hard of hearing buttons is currently being replenished as more and more people are purchasing them to wear while running errands.  A bilingual version, in addition to our regular English language button, will soon be available.

20200528_115000 HOH Button

Hear PEI’s hard of hearing button.

initiativeWe have asked people to adopt clear-window masks.  As commercial supplies are on backorder we had asked for volunteers to help build up a supply by making non-medical clear-window masks.  One person answered the call, and we are able to provide a small supply on a per order basis.  Word hadn’t even gotten out before we were receiving orders!

Face masks washable no need to remove plastic

These clear-window masks are washable, including the plastic.

Call for volunteers

Do you like to sew?  Are you willing and able to make see-through masks for our members, and for others who in the community who have hearing loss?  We have one volunteer and would love to have more. This would be a wonderful and practical way to volunteer to help us during this continued time of social distancing.

Thank you to Annie Lee MacDonald for sharing her story.  A huge thank you goes out to Queen Elizabeth Hospital for donating the face shields, and to Ford Motor Company of Canada Limited for making such as simple and easily useable product that is so helpful for people with hearing loss. If you have more stories to share about masks, please send an email to hearpei@gmail.com.  You can also comment on this blog, or send a tweet to @HearPEI. Stay safe!

donateWould you would like to make a donation towards outreach activities?  Here is the link: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/34708.  Please note that your donation is used 100% for outreach activities as everyone is a volunteer.

 © Daria Valkenburg


2 thoughts on “Rising To The Challenge To Hear – 3 Initiatives To Help – Face Shields, Hard of Hearing Buttons, and Clear-Window Masks

  1. Pingback: Rising To The Challenge To Hear – Adventures With Face Shields and Clear-Window Masks | The Aural Report

  2. Pingback: Rising To The Challenge To Hear – Clear-Window Face Masks To Suit Your Taste | The Aural Report

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