ARIZONA NEWS

Deaf, hard of hearing advocates to give away 30,000 clear masks

Jul 7, 2020, 4:25 AM | Updated: 7:18 pm
(Arizona Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing/Sherri Collins)...
(Arizona Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing/Sherri Collins)
(Arizona Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing/Sherri Collins)

PHOENIX — As face masks become the new normal, they’re now becoming more accessible too.

In May, the Arizona Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing put out a call to action to local innovators to help create a clear face mask for those who rely so heavily on facial expressions and lip reading.

There were plenty of people who were ready to answer the call.

“I have to say because of [KTAR’s] interview with me, it really got a lot of attention across the nation,” executive director of the commission, Sherri Collins, said. “And some of the people that heard [the] interview contacted us.”

One of the groups that answered the call was ClearMask. The company makes transparent, disposable masks that cover the face without fogging up, keeping the face completely visible.

“It’s flat and it’s light,” Collins explained as she displayed the new mask. “There’s a film that you peel off [the front of the mask] then you just put it on.

“And the other thing I like about this is that you don’t have to wear it behind your ear with a hearing aid or for those with a cochlear implant you can just put [the mask] right over your head.”

Collins said ACDHH was able to order 20,000 of these masks. Plus, the Arizona Association of the Deaf also procured 10,000 clear masks of their own which the commission will help the distribute.

However, this came at a big cost for the commission.

“We purchased the bulk of the masks,” Collins explained, “So 10,000 masks costs about $25,000 and we bought 20,000 which is about $50,000.”

Collins said they used money from their annual budget, but they are hoping the commission will be reimbursed by the state, especially as the governor continues to promote state-wide mask initiatives.

Because of this, they’re limiting quantities to five masks per person.

Collins said these masks aren’t meant just for people who are deaf or hard of hearing but for everyone.

“We want to raise awareness about how having that clear mask will reduce communication barriers,” she said. “First responders could get this, it could be teachers who teach Deaf and hard of hearing children, it could be parents who have deaf and hard of hearing children.”

To get your ClearMask, head to acdhh.org and begin filling out the form.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Arizona Department of Transportation Photo)...
KTAR.com

Jomax interchange opens to complete Loop 303 expansion in Peoria

Work on a yearlong, $20.3 million project to expand Loop 303 in the northwest Valley wrapped up Thursday, authorities said.
1 day ago
(Facebook Photo/Arizona Capitol Museum)...
Associated Press

Arizona bill would ban transgender girls, women from teams that align with their gender identity

Transgender girls and women would be barred from competing on the high school or college sports team that aligns with their gender identity under a proposed Arizona law that was approved on party lines by a state Senate committee on Thursday.
1 day ago
(AP File Photo/Ross D. Franklin)...
Associated Press

Woman acquitted in protest of Arizona border wall construction

A Tohono O’odham woman was found not guilty Wednesday on federal misdemeanor charges stemming from her protest of border wall construction on her tribe's ancestral land.
1 day ago
(Sketch provided by Yavapai County Sheriff's Office)...
KTAR.com

Arizona authorities hoping to identify remains of girl known as ‘Little Miss Nobody’

An Arizona sheriff's office is working in hopes of finally identifying the remains of a young girl who was found 60 years ago and dubbed "Little Miss Nobody."
1 day ago
Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz.(AP File Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)...
Associated Press

U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva of Arizona announces 2nd COVID-19 infection

U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva has contracted COVID-19 for the second time, saying Thursday he has minor symptoms.
1 day ago
Irene Luevano and Jorge Quintero Lara (Courtesy Photos)...
KTAR.com

Body of missing 37-year-old Phoenix woman found in western Arizona

The body of a missing 37-year-old Phoenix woman was found in a western Arizona county and her boyfriend is set to face charges in her death, authorities said Thursday.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Arizona State University

This is the best year to get your MBA

Getting a master’s degree is a major commitment of time, energy, and money, so returning to school — even if you’re thinking about a part-time program that allows you to keep working — is one of the biggest decisions of your career.
GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 27: Wide receivers John Brown #12 and Larry Fitzgerald #11 of the Arizona C...
Arizona Department of Gaming

The most memorable games in Arizona sports history every fan needs to know

Sports teams in Arizona have seen their fair share of instant classic games, but there's a few that every fan needs to know.
...
Arizona State University

Gain insights on next year’s trends at 58th Annual Economic Forecast Luncheon

Employment is recovering from the severe contraction induced by the pandemic, but it is still way below levels at the start of 2020. Can it fully recover in the coming year?
Deaf, hard of hearing advocates to give away 30,000 clear masks