The life of the deaf and hard of hearing is substantially more complicated since public health recommends the wearing of a mask, which prevents to read on the lips of their interlocutors.
June 20, 2020 13h52
Masks: the worst nightmare of the deaf and hard of hearing people who lipread
The Canadian Press
MONTREAL — The deaf and hearing impaired who read lips call for openness on the part of traders and citizens with respect to the port of the mask.
Their life is even more complicated since the authorities of public health “strongly recommends” the wearing of a covering face in public places and especially where a two metre distance between people can only be respected in order to combat the spread of the COVID-19.
In fact, it is neither more nor less than the worst nightmare of the deaf and hard-of-hearing, according to Jeanne Choquette, the president and executive director of Hearing Quebec. One can easily understand why.
“The first time that the prime minister Legault arrived with a mask, I screamed in my living room, I screamed “Oh no”, she told in an interview with The canadian Press.
People suffering from hearing problems, or one Canadian in six, are very likely to know read on the lips, said Ms. Choquette.
“It compensates for our hearing loss. When one addresses someone who wears a mask and we don’t see all the lips, to have it experienced myself in the past few days, it is paniquant because they don’t understand.”
Without, however, explicitly ask for it, the deaf and the hard of hearing hope “secretly” when they show a sticker indicating that they read on the lips of their interlocutor removes his mask while respecting the distancing physical, has recognized Ms. Choquette.
“Spontaneously, some will do it. This is not the end of the world and it helps us a lot,” she noted during a telephone interview conducted through a device linked by a wireless technology, a device worn on the neck and transmits the sound of the call directly into the cochlear implants.
The population more and more these masks are usually opaque, finds Hearing in Québec, so that the grouping has launched an awareness campaign in line with the attention of traders in order to suggest solutions to better communicate.
The members of the organization also hope that the merchants have to promote alternatives to wearing a mask opaque. When the cashier is behind a plexiglas without wearing a mask, “this is ideal”, just like the visors transparent, judge Ms. Choquette.
But the deaf and hard of hearing were mostly “very, very anxious” that the masks with a transparent window at the level of the mouth are more popular.
And in all cases, Hearing Québec recommends that the interlocutor speaks with a normal flow, the more strong, however, without the screaming, pronouncing clearly each syllable, with short sentences, each separated from a real break, making gestures and all, without being back to a window.
Only one person can talk at once and the background noise should be reduced at least during this interaction. If the person does not understand, the interviewer should not hesitate to write a message or draw it.
Noticing to be more and more likely to be “yelling”, a gesture they deem “humiliating”, the deaf and the hard of hearing say they want to “empathy and respect”.