Getting answers: How to communicate with deaf people while wearing a mask

Getting Answers - COVID-19

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – It’s been a year since the first case of COVID-19 was reported in North Carolina, and CBS 17 News is getting answers to questions you asked us about the coronavirus.

YOUR QUESTION: How do you communicate with people who are deaf or hard of hearing while wearing a mask?

OUR ANSWER: The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is distributing clear masks for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Residents who are deaf, hard of hearing, late-deafened, or DeafBlind are eligible for a mask. Additionally, those who work with those groups, such as interpreters, are able to get a clear mask from the state.

Similar masks are made and sold privately, too. CBS 17 reported in October on a Raleigh doctor who had been creating clear masks for her deaf patients.

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