Lambertville group sews transparent face masks for deaf people

A transparent face mask for the deaf
Photo credit Grace Reading/Facebook
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — During the coronavirus pandemic, masks have become everyday attire. But for people who are deaf, face coverings create a communication lag, as many rely on reading lips.

That’s where the Lambertville Masks Co. comes in.

Sara Bizarro and others in Lambertville, New Jersey, had some extra time on their hands — since the coronavirus pandemic took away their jobs. A couple months ago, they started to sew and sell masks, even creating a community Facebook group to buy or sell them.

“There are definitely a lot of people looking for them,” said Bizarro. “People want multiple masks, because you need to wash them, and it's also fun to have different kinds, different fabrics, different looks to them.”

Then, one woman approached the group with a request for a type of mask for people who are hearing impaired.

Grace Reading — who had never sewn before the pandemic — stepped up and experimented with stitching vinyl, plastic windows into a mask.

"I watched a YouTube video multiple times,” she said. “I made one and I showed it to her, and she said, ‘Look, do you mind if I give your name out to people who really need these masks?’ And people have been contacting me, and I've been making them.”

Reading is teaming up with professionals who work with deaf people, too. She has since made dozens of transparent masks, and the requests continue to pour in.