Accessible communication while when wearing a mask
Coronavirus has impacted the communication style of deaf and hard of hearing people as a community.
It has been a barrier. We know that masks are important for reducing the transmission of COVID-19 but for deaf and hard of hearing people, they do find it challenging when they experience people wearing masks.
So if you're wearing a mask, it's really important to understand and consider how best to communicate with a deaf or hearing impaired person.
I would say the best option would be if you're approaching a person who is deaf or hard of hearing then ask how they would prefer to be communicated with.
Ask if they would like the mask removed so they could see your mouth patterns, or you could use text to type to each other or pen and paper, or you can book an interpreter on 1300 010 877.
The key messages are don't rush it. Allow time for the person you are communicating with to get their message across.
Be considerate, plan ahead so you're prepared to communicate with someone who is deaf or hearing impaired, and above all be kind. If it's frustrating for you, think about how it is or the other person, with or without facemasks.