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Local costume shop to produce masks with clear mouth area for deaf and hard of hearing

One of the masks

Jessica Johnson Brock of BLO wears one of the masks.

Costume Works of Somerville, which normally makes costumes for the Boston Lyric Opera, will produce 1,800 masks with clear fronts for people who rely on lip reading and other facial cues to communicate, under a grant from the Boston Resiliency Fund, the mayor's office announced today.

BLO and the Mayor's Commission for Persons with Disabilities will coordinate distribution of the masks.

In addition to helping people with hearing issues, the grant will also help put some costume makers - out of jobs since the March shutdown of theaters and other performance venues - back to work.

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Comments

I also read that there are some totally transparent masks coming out at some point, as well.

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Voting closed 11

I bet people will find them extremely helpful.

On a related note, have dog owners out there noticed any issues with their pets reacting to masked people? Especially with so many people getting pandemic puppies (and having no clue how to train them, but that's a whole other issue) I wonder if there have been mask-related socialization problems.

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Sometimes when I'm dealing with someone in a store/restaurant/wherever, I'll crack a joke and smile, forgetting they can't see the smile and wonder if the communication was successful. I doubt it. Smiles are important in every day conversation.

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You can tell if someone's smiling even if they're wearing a mask. Eyes have a lot to do with it.

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Body language too.
But a friend of mine disagreed when we had this discussion. It seems not everyone looks at the eyes as much.

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Eyes have everything to do with it!

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I've kind of enjoyed that people can't see the look on my face.

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These masks would be very useful for teachers, too. My SO works in early education and has been looking at similar mask designs on Etsy. Little kiddos need to read lips and facial expressions for their own verbal and emotional development, and lip reading specifically would probably be helpful for older kids too. I know I've had some trouble "hearing" people in masks since this started. Never realized how much I was lip reading until I couldn't anymore.

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Voting closed 17

Seems like a good idea but I can't help but imagine that it will fog up pretty well.

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Anti-fog coatings maybe? They have those for glasses and goggles so why not transparent masks?

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coming out in the future. I forget where, however.

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The transparent mask looks promising but I haven't tried it. The way it's supposed to stick on the tip of your nose looks like it would drive me nuts.
theclearmask.com

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I'm deaf and read lips so my ability to communicate is severely hampered by masks but I see these all over the place advertised for deaf people. Why? Are we supposed to carry it around and loan it to the person we are trying understand? Anyone want to wear a used mask? They have to stop advertising these for deaf people. It is aggravating and misdirected.

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