As we transition out of lockdown, we are adjusting to new ways of life. This includes the use of face masks to help spread coronavirus. This could have an adverse affect on those who are deaf or hard of hearing.
It is vital to ensure that patients who are deaf or hard of hearing are not isolated from care through face coverings preventing them from lip reading, particularly children who may not feel confident asking someone they have not heard correctly to repeat themselves. That is why I am glad that a coalition of charities, including the National Deaf Children's Society, Action on Hearing Loss and the Royal Association of Deaf People have joined forces to issue guidance on how to speak with a face mask. These tips are:
1. Write phrases down
2. Use a text to speak app
3. Conduct coversations over video call, where there is no need to wear a mask
4. Try to use a clear face mask or visor
5. Find a quiet place to talk
You can find more help and advice via the following links: