Covid changes place burden on deaf communities

Dalton Roberts, Reporter

Communities were changed a lot due to Covid-19  but the deaf and hard of hearing communities experience a bigger impact. They have made a lot of changes and adjustments so they can communicate. There are changes everyone needs to know so they can help them. 


Deaf people’s main way of communicating is American Sign language and that has a lot to do with facial expressions but masks make that hard for them. Companies started making changes in their mask. They clear masks so you can read expressions easier. This can still cause problems like the mask can fog up and it can be unclear what the expression is. 


The hard of hearing side of the community has to make a few more adjustments. People with hearing aids have difficulty with their mask straps so they use ones that tie around their heads and necks. They also use thinner straps so it doesn’t mess with the hearing aids as much. This is so when people take it off the hearing aid doesn’t get caught and fly off potentially getting damaged. 


One of the major problems that hard of hearing people have is reading lips. Reading lips has become significantly harder due to the mask but there are ways to help them understand you. First you can go into a quieter area. This will help them hear you and not what is going on around you. You can talk a little louder and slower so that they can process the words you are saying. Rephrasing is better to use different words that might be more recognizable for them. But most importantly be patient. This is a bigger learning curve for them and they don’t need someone getting frustrated for not understanding.