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Deaf mom designs masks with transparent opening to aid lip reading

A deaf mother in Manchester, Justine Bate has designed a face mask with plastic opening at the mouth region to aid lip reading for the hearing impaired.

Justine 42, a graphic designer, was inspired to make the clear but colorful masks with her sewing machine to assist her daughter, Teona, 10, who, like her, is also deaf and relies on lip reading to communicate.

According to her husband, Carl Bate, 50, the special masks had recieved hundreds of orders from care homes, people with dementia and children with certain types of autism since mass production began on Wednesday.

“We can’t make them quickly enough for what people need,” Carl told a state media. “The amount of people who have come up to her and asked for these masks is quite overwhelming.

READ ALSO:COVID-19: Kids flock back to classrooms with facemasks as Ivory Coast re-opens schools

“While the masks are not PPE quality, as there is no filter”, Carl added, “even people from the care homes said they are not bothered because of the ability to communicate with disabled people in an easier way”.

Each mask comprising a transparent shield, cloth frame and elastic bands for securing around the wearer’s ears, sells for about £5.99 (#2,855).

However, Carl maintains that running a business wasn’t the goal.

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