SAN DIEGO (AP) — Michael Conley felt especially isolated these past few months: A deaf man, he was prevented from reading lips by the masks people wore to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
But then he met Ingrid Helton, a costume designer who sewed him a solution – masks with plastic windows for hearing people to wear, allowing lip readers to see mouths move.
She has started a business to provide the windowed masks, and she’s not alone. A half-dozen startups are doing the same. They have been inundated with orders — and not only from friends and family of the roughly 48 million Americans who are deaf or hard of hearing.
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