Local HLAA Members Make Windowed Masks

By Paula Lickfeldt

Imagine being deaf or hearing impaired and using lip-reading as a way of conversing. Now imagine the onset of a pandemic that causes everyone to wear a mask over their mouth, rendering lip-reading impossible.

Eloise Schwarz is the leader of the HLAA Sun City Center Chapter. Realizing that hearing impaired and deaf people needed some sort of a windowed mask, she set out to find a pattern for making windowed masks and to recruit people to help make them. A dedicated sewing team made up of Carol Zeller, team captain, and seamstresses Jan Ring, Nancy Carrier, Mary Christiano, Kathy Moore, Kathy Yeager, Pam Davis, Sally Foree, Carol Aberzik, and Eloise Schwarz all stepped forward to help.

The Clear Mask Campaign offers windowed masks for hard of hearing people and their caregivers in SCC free for the asking on a first-come, first-served basis. Donations may be made when the mask is received. The SCC Chamber of Commerce is the location where the masks can be picked up after being ordered at the chamber. The SCC Men’s Club and the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay are co-sponsors of the Clear Mask Campaign in SCC. These masks take some time to make, but they allow the user to smile and to see each other’s mouths for talking. The elastic bands circle the head instead of hooking behind the ears.  This saves hearing aids and/or the implants from falling off the head when removing the mask.

 

IN THE PHOTO: (L to R) Eloise Schwarz, Sally Foree, Nancy Carrier, Jan Ring, Kathy Moore, Carol Zeller, Kathy Yeager.

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