Taking Matters Into Her Own Hands
The 21-year-old senior named Ashley Lawrence felt an entire population is overlooked. She’s studying to earn a specialized degree from Eastern Kentucky University and decided to take matters into her own hands. She started using bedsheets along with leftover plastic crafting supplies to create face masks that help protect yet also clearly show the mouth of the person wearing it to make it possible to lip-read.
Lawrence mentioned that American Sign Language is dependent on facial expressions since it’s part of the grammar. She said that people should have access to these expressions, even while wearing a mask. That’s why she decided to create her own.
Inclusive Face Masks
Aside from making face masks for those that are deaf and hard of hearing, Ashley is also working on different things for people who have cochlear implants and hearing aids if they aren’t able to wrap the masks around the ears. She is making the masks so that they can go around the head and neck.
According to Ashley, she’s received dozens of orders across six different states. All this happened within 48 hours of her sharing her prototype mask on Facebook. She’s working on making a template that can be shared virtually with other sewers who want to create their own face masks for protecting themselves.