Professor studies effectiveness of transparent face mask to improve healthcare communication for people with hearing loss

Summarized by Jennee Harmuth, Staff Writer

Imagine your doctor using a transparent surgical facemask that allows you to read lips if you are deaf, hard of hearing, or a non-native English speaker. So far the transparent facemask is in the prototype stage; however, Samuel Atcherson PhD, a faculty member at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology, says “These transparent masks weren’t initially conceived to help deaf and hard of hearing people. Wearing a mask can be intimidating to others. It was thought it would be easier for children if they could see more of the doctor’s face, but the transparent facemasks allow people to read lips. This is especially important in noisy settings where people are having a hard time hearing…”

The prototype and research are being funded by a two-year, $95,602 grant from the National Institutes of Health.

You can read the full story here.

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