Media Woman’s Making See-Through Masks to Ease Deaf People’s Frustration

Kate's See-through face masks are made of cloth and 12-gauge clear vinyl. Image via Kate Panzer.

One segment of the population that has a unique problem with face masks are the deaf and hard of hearing.

The mask muffles the speaker and prohibits the ability to read lips and facial expressions, writes Hannah Chinn for

Now a Media woman thinks she may be able to help.

Kate Panzer heard about a student in Kentucky who made partially-clear masks to resolve those communication stumbling blocks.

Panzer, who has volunteered at the Deaf Hearing Communication Center through the University of Pennsylvania’s ASL program, is offering to make and distribute clear masks here.

She got her first order on April 23.

“There was a huge need, and quickly we became a little bit overwhelmed — the supply wasn’t reaching the demand,” Panzer said.

She reached out to friends with sewing machines and put together a team of four to six volunteers.

Panzer and the DHCC staff distributed more than 600 masks.  The DHCC masks are made out of cloth and a clear vinyl panel, meant to be washed and worn multiple times.

Panzer’s currently enrolled in medical school at the University of Michigan, hoping to start a mask pilot program there.

Read more about Kate Panzer’s see-through masks for deaf persons here.

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