'It's been a struggle': Profoundly deaf NHS worker on the challenges of being surrounded by people wearing face masks

Matthew Walker is an advanced clinical practitioner, and works in the emergency department at Russells Hall Hospital in Dudley.

Quick decision-making and communication are part of his working day, but the Coronavirus pandemic has created another new challenge.

He's profoundly deaf, and relies on seeing people's lips move to work out what they're saying, and watching their faces, to determine how they're feeling.

Once his colleagues and patients are wearing face coverings - that becomes impossible.

Luckily, he says he works in a great team who understand his difficulties, but says one invention could make life even easier - clear face masks.

Textile worker Sarah Sewell from Nottingham was already making masks, when a friend suggested she try making versions with a clear front panel.

A mum told her recently,

Alison Jones is the CEO of Communication Unlimited, which supports deaf people and people who are hearing impaired in Derby.

Wearing face masks in shops will be compulsory from July 24th.

Campaigners are asking people to be a little more aware of the extra impact that will have on some, and to consider practical help, like a clear mask or face shield, or increased signs and visual guides, for those who may have difficulty hearing.

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