The global pandemic has brought out the best in humanity despite the hardships. The world right now is crippled by increasing demands for essential goods and medical supplies, especially masks. The crisis is so acute that people have been compelled to sew their own masks. In such a scenario, instead of worrying about herself, 21-year-old college student Ashley Lawrence chose to be a bigger and better person by focusing on the needs of the deaf community and those suffering from hearing impairment. She decided to make special handmade masks for them.
With the increase in the number of victims of the global pandemic, the availability of essential medical goods has dwindled, while their demands have skyrocketed. Ashley decided to help out the people in need. However, she took one step further and included those who are struggling with hearing impairment in her list as well.
Ashley Lawrence is a student at Eastern Kentucky University, where she studies deaf education. She is in self-quarantine currently, during which she came up with an ingenious idea. It suddenly dawned upon her that the availability of masks custom-made for the people who are struggling with hearing loss is next to zero right now. In a moment of an epiphany, she remembered something that led to this discovery. Before the pandemic struck, some companies had made special masks for the people struggling with the loss of hearing. The masks were designed such that the doctor’s mouth was visible so that their lips could be read . Since people had already begun making handmade masks for the masses, she too decided to chip and do her share.
Ashley further adds that seeing people create reusable masks on Facebook reminded her of the plight of the people who are suffering from hearing impairment.
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Ashley’s mother too decided to help her, and together they started creating handmade masks. These masks have a special plastic window situated exactly where a person’s mouth is supposed to be. People who rely heavily or completely on lip-reading need to have access to a person’s lips in order to be able to communicate properly. Using the example of Virginia Moore, Ashley explains how being able to read the lips is a crucial part of communication.
As soon as she put up a post regarding her ingenious creation on Facebook, it became apparent how desperately people were in need of such special masks. Her creation not only caught the eye of the media but numerous people placed their orders for the handmade masks as well. As of now, Ashley has decided to make as many as she can and give them out free of cost. However, in case there is an overwhelming increase in demand, she has decided that she will send free patterns. She will also give free tutorials so that people can create similar masks at home as well.
In order to be able to continue making these handmade masks and delivering them for free, she has started a campaign on GoFundMe.
Image credits: Ashley Lawrence