See my lips.. Read my lips
If you are one of the millions of people around the world with disabling hearing loss, and the only way you can communicate is now covered by a face mask..
COVID-19 has indirectly silenced your world.
Just for a moment close your eyes.
Cover your ears.
What can you see?
What can you hear?
It’s quiet isn’t it?
It feels empty and alone?
It might make you feel anxious? Scared? Isolated?
COVID-19 has affected every single one of us.
But if you are one of the many groups of people who rely on seeing movement of the mouth, lips and face to communicate, wearing a covered face mask creates a massive barrier for communication, misunderstanding and ultimately social isolation.
The deaf community, the elderly, those who speak English as a second language, and those on the autism spectrum, are all groups of people disadvantaged because of face masks which cover the mouth.
BUT.. A mask CAN and DOES save lives.
Wearing a mask CAN reduce the spread of COVID-19, and protect you from getting it.
Plus, it is mandatory in many states within Australia, but also many countries around the world.
So, how can you protect yourself, and others, from corona virus but still communicate with others?
Until now your choices were limited.
A clear “Face Shield” needs a covered mask to be worn under the shield to provide effective protection.
A covered face mask covers the lips.. making lip reading impossible.
So.. Many people are needing to make a choice :
Safety? … Communicte?… Safety?… Communicate?
This is NOT acceptable!
We were approached by friends, colleagues and many individuals and organisations all with the same subject title:
“HELP- we can’t read lips”
Without thinking about the multitude of obstacle ahead of us, we said sure!
After-all, this request goes to the heart and soul of our company- the pure philosophy of helping the “Underdogz”.. people like me!
Individuals who do not “fit’ into “mainstream” life- which means resources, sizes, products and equipment do not exist and are not available to you.
Wearing oxygen, I was unable to wear face masks with “dumbo ear” ear elastic straps.
So, I designed and created “comfort” face masks with elastic “head straps.
We’ve sold over 2000 of these to help people who wear hearing aids, oxygen prongs, glasses, or get migraines and head aches.
But the Communicator (clear masks) created an enormous challenge.
It sounded simple, but I completely underestimated the essential features required:
- A clear plastic mouth panel allowing clear vision of the lips and mouth
- Breathable- enough plastic to see, but too much plastic, and you literally suffocate inside a plastic muzzle
- 3 layer WHO recommendations- all our masks meet World Health Organisation inner, middle and outer layer recommendation
- MERV-13 fine particle hospital grade filter: ALL our masks offer superior protection by including a MERV-13 filter (filters >90% fine virus particles)
- Washable- both hand AND machine washable
- Comfortable- elastic head straps, “good’” fit which secures to individuals faces without excessive “gaps”
- Plastic sits away from the mouth- and ability to minimise fog and maximise visibility of lips and mouth
- Adjustable- 3 sizes with adjustable velcro closure
- Variety- we are Funky Fido after-all!
So.. as you can see.. we had our design skills “challenged”!
BUT, after 3 months, 73 prototypes, countless redesigns, and testing..
Here it is…
We present to you:
The Communicator Clear Face Mask (click on video to watch)