As someone who works in a hospital, having to reuse masks and other PPE—not to mention knowing that shortages put colleagues who take care of COVID-19 patients in danger—is upsetting. As someone with severe-to-profound congenital hearing loss who relies upon lip reading and hearing aids to make the most of the hearing I have left, I would like to yeet all of the masks off the nearest cliff. Unfortunately, what little PPE we have is here to stay as the whole world deals with the pesky novel coronavirus.
(I note, with great irony, that in November 2019 I shared information on a clear mask that had been developed to allow for lipreading. At the time, I was hoping it was feasible to switch to this product where I work, since, you know, we didn’t actually use masks that often.)
I created this infographic to alert healthcare providers to these issues as well as open up communication between healthcare providers and patients with hearing loss. There is a great deal of self-advocacy anyone with a disability must undertake, and healthcare providers can help ease this burden with their own awareness.
For much, much more information for folks with hearing loss as well as providers and health organizations, visit the National Association of the Deaf – NAD‘s collection of resources here: http://www.nad.org/2020/04/07/communicating-with-medical-personnel-during-coronavirus
This infographic is free to download and distribute in electronic and print format with attribution intact. Click the button to download the PDF, or right click and “save as” the image below.