Hearing access specialists
Hearing access specialists

An older man wearing a scarf that is pulled up over his mouth and nose

We are concerned that the growing use of masks and other facial coverings is making life harder for people with hearing loss and deafness. What do you think? Are they blocking more than germs?

We have created a short survey to capture feedback on your feelings about masks and any experience you may have had of speaking with people who are wearing a mask. The survey also asks about other communication impacts that coronavirus may have had.

Deadline is midday, Thursday, 30 April. 

Our survey comes at a time when the UK Government is assessing whether COVID-19 is having an unequal impact on particular groups of the population. This survey will help to assess the impact on people with hearing loss and deafness.

We will share the survey results here, on our Twitter feed (@IdeasForEars) and in our next email update.

Complete the short survey by midday 30/04/20

Sign up up for email updates from Ideas for Ears

Read Pippa’s post on practical solutions to masks

2 responses to “Survey: face masks and communication”

  1. I am completely deaf in one ear.. have no eardrum left, so unable to wear a hearing aid.I work in a fast food restaurant and am due back to work next week. Wearing a face mask has really proved to be difficult. Like others, I have to face someone when they speak, yet when they are wearing the masks, I can’t see their mouth and volume isnt as clear as normal. Background sound is also a hinderrance. I never acknowledged my deafness. I have always carried on as best as I can, people at work don’t know that I am deaf….but now it is truly hard to cope with. I am so nervous about returning to work. Do others feel the same?

    • Hello Christine, please let me assure you that plenty people feel just as anxious as you – face masks are creating very serious communication challenges right across the UK and the world. Our web page that lists different see-through face coverings is hugely popular, which also tells us that a lot of people want to find solutions. The trouble is, at the moment not enough is known about the safety and effectiveness of some of the masks and/or the ones that look most impressive are not yet available.

      In terms of what you can do to make things easier for yourself, please take a look at this blog post and the advice it offers. https://www.ideasforears.org.uk/blog/face-masks-and-communication/ If you are a social media user and have access to Facebook, please also explore the Facebook groups for people with hearing loss – there are some excellent ones and if you put the same question into the chat, you quite likely will find people in exactly the same position as you.

      I hope you are okay and wish you well. We’d love to know what action you took and how you got on, so please do consider staying in touch with us and letting us know.

      Best wishes, Sally and the IFE team

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