During a health threat such as a coronavirus, people should wear masks in public. Wearing masks gives people some protection. At the same time, many masks hide the lips and half of the face, which makes it harder to understand speech. It is also hard to understand sign language when the person is wearing a mask. Facial expressions are an important part of sign language. It is very important to wear masks to stay safe during a pandemic, but also very important that deaf and hard of hearing people can understand what everyone is saying. Our guidelines explain the best ways to communicate with deaf and hard of hearing people while following health recommendations.
The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) developed these guidelines with support and input from other deaf, hard of hearing, and DeafBlind consumer advocacy organizations and subject matter experts.
List of Supporting Organizations and Professionals (in alphabetical order):
- American Association of the DeafBlind*
- Association of Late-Deafened Adults (ALDA)*
- Cerebral Palsy and Deaf Organization (CPADO)*
- Communication Service for the Deaf (CSD)*
- CueSign, Inc.*
- Christopher J. Moreland, M.D., MPH, Associate Professor of Internal Medicine, Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin
- Deaf in Government (DIG)
- Gallaudet University
- Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA)*
- Michael McKee, M.D., MPH, Associate Professor of Family Medicine, University of Michigan
- National Association of the Deaf (NAD)*
- National Association of State Agencies of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (NASADHH)
- National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) Center on Employment
- National Cued Speech Association (NCSA)*
- Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc. (TDI)*
(*consumer advocacy groups that advocate for the rights of deaf and hard of hearing people.)
You can contact [email protected] for help.