Last month we shared Ruth's story on why she felt the govenment should provide clear masks to everyone, and although we still have some way to go, we were pleased to read this week, the govenment annoucement that 250,000 clear face masks are to be delivered to frontline NHS and social care workers. This recent pledge by the govenment is to provide better care and support for people who use lip-reading and facial expressions to communicate, across the UK.
NHS and care workers will be given clear face masks to help them communicate with people with certain conditions like hearing loss, learning disabilities, autism and dementia, as well helping those who rely on facial expressions to support communication, such as foreign language speakers and their interpreters.
The masks are see-through and have an anti-fogging barrier to ensure the face and mouth are always visible to help doctors, nurses and carers communicate better with their patients, especially those who need to lip read or rely on facial expressions to support communication.
Minister for Care Helen Whately said "The introduction of clear face masks will help overcome some of the difficulties carers wearing PPE are facing communicating with people who rely on lip-reading. If this proves a success I look forward to increasing the supply to make sure whenever a clear mask is needed, there is one available".
Disability Rights UK’s Head of Policy Fazilet Hadi said: “This is a simple, necessary measure that will go a long way to providing assurance for the 12 million people with hearing loss in the UK.”
Read the offical annoucement from the govenment HERE.
Living Options Devon is a well respected user-led organisation which works to ensure that people with disabilities and Deaf people can live the life they choose. Set up in 1990 LOD is a registered charity (Charity N0. 1102489) and a company limited by guarantee (No. 4925281). Based in Exeter and Barnstaple, our charitable aims mean we we can offer services across the South West and share good practice throughout the UK. Being led and run by people with disabilities and Deaf people ensures LOD has first hand knowledge and understanding of the issues facing service users and so is very well placed to increase the influence and voice of Deaf and disabled people. We do this by providing education, training and services which enable people to live the lives they choose.
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