Innovative Masks to Help Persons with Visual Impairment

Middle East, News, Universal Design, April 24 2020

ISRAEL: For the hearing impaired, this is no easy task, as it adds an extra layer of difficulty to their ability to communicate, often times with various service providers such as doctors and nurses. As face masks have become an inseparable part of the lives of millions of Israelis there are those who may have more trouble with the new law requiring to wear them.

Woman cashier wearing a face mask

People wear face masks to protect them from the coronavirus as they buy matzot, unleavened bread traditionally eaten during the Jewish holiday of Passover, at a supermarket in Jerusalem. March 31, 2020.
(photo credit: YOSSI ZAMIR/FLASH90)

For the hearing impaired, wearing a mask is no easy task, as it adds an extra layer of difficulty to their ability to communicate, often times with various service providers such as doctors and nurses.

“Masks of this type improve the accessibility and communication of handicapped people who use lip reading, as well as people with an intellectual disability,” said Yuval Wagner, CEO of the ‘Access Israel.’

A solution to the problem was made by the Israeli “Keter” (Crown) company, which specializes in manufacturing clear protective screens in accordance with the needs of medical teams. During these times they have additionally developed new clear screened face masks, allowing for the ability to lip read.

A video made by the company shows Michal Gorlic (30) a graphic designer from Haifa who was born deaf. In the video she says that, “the masks most people use are an obstacle of accessibility to [her]”.

According to Keter CEOs, Udi Sagi and Yiftach Sachar, “this project is a part of Keter’s ability to create new technologies quickly, with the goal of providing optimal and accessible protection which can be used multiple times, to as a wide a population as possible.”

 

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