DAEJEON, May 22 (Korea Bizwire) — A local social enterprise is gaining attention after making and distributing specially designed protective masks for teachers at schools for hearing-impaired students, to ensure their right to education amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Persons with hearing disabilities have to look at the mouth to clearly understand what the other person is trying to say, even if they have received a cochlear implant or use a hearing aid.
A protective mask made by the Lifelong Aid Center for Persons with Hearing Disabilities in Daejeon is designed to show the mouth of a person who is wearing it.
Most of the 6,200 hearing-impaired students in South Korea go to normal schools and take classes along with students who don’t have disabilities.
For them, it is difficult to understand a lecture if the teacher speaks with a mask on.
A rehabilitation facility specializing in hearing impairment had developed a transparent mask for teachers, but it had been struggling with mass production, until the Lifelong Aid Center and volunteers offered assistance on May 15.
Since it uses velcro, the coating sheet can be detached anytime for cleaning and reuse.
However, it takes a significant amount of time to make the masks since everything is done manually. A day of work by volunteers can only produce around 700 masks.
“A local protective mask manufacturer has been offering KF94 masks free-of-charge. We are also receiving help from multiple companies and volunteer groups,” said Cho Seong-yeon, head of the Lifelong Aid Center.
The center is delivering the transparent masks to teachers nationwide for free, distributing 1,800 masks to all schools by Wednesday when high school seniors returned to school.
The center is receiving calls from other schools to send more masks.
Lina Jang (firstname.lastname@example.org)