A Mask People Rely On
The sign language offers a lot of grammar-related signals, but people rely mostly on lip-reading, which is how a standard mask complicates things.
Lawrence studies education for the deaf and hard of hearing at Eastern Kentucky University. Finishing her semester at home, she had the free time to make face masks for those who speak sign language. She sewed the face mask with plastic windows over the mouth.
Raising Money to Make a Difference
Lawrence has been shipping mask bundles free of charge to local hospitals and deaf individuals, and she even launched a GoFundMe campaign. Ashley plans to do this in the long run and needs funds for materials, shipping, and handling costs. However, after raising more than $3,000 in two days, she shut her page down.
Initially, Lawrence asked her mom for help, and they both started making the featuring-a-plastic-window masks. Ashley has now recruited volunteers to make the see-through masks within her community in Woodford County, Kentucky. She’s also launching an official website and social media pages for her new DHH Mask Project with the increasing demand for her masks.
Ashley is also planning on posting a do-it-yourself video on Youtube, explaining in detail how to make the mouth-visible mask. This way, deaf or hard-of-hearing people worldwide could make one even if they live in an area too distant for shipping from Kentucky.
Ashley Lawrance is making the world a much better place, one mask at a time.