Accessibility February 3, 2021
Carmaker Ford designs clear, reusable N95 masks for people with hearing impairments
Top American multinational carmaker Ford Motor Company is winning kudos for designing clear N95 face masks to help people with hearing impairments communicate while protecting themselves from COVID-19. This is as part of Ford’s #FinishStrong initiative to encourage Americans to come together to protect themselves and each other.
Face masks have become essential in the COVID-19 scenario but wearing them is a battle for people with hearing impairments who rely on seeing people’s faces or reading lips to communicate. Face masks make this a challenge.
Recognising this leading American carmaker Ford Motor Company, also known as Ford, has designed clear N95 face masks that are reusable. This is a part of its #FinishStrong initiative that aims to encourage Americans to protect themselves and each other.
Design awaits federal approval
A patent is pending for the new design, which is awaiting federal approval to qualify for N95 status from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
The transparent, low-cost, reusable respirators will enable a full range of human expression, said Ford in a statement. They will allow people to better communicate with each other and aiding those with hearing impairments to help read lips that are today blocked by conventional cloth and filtered masks. This is also a safe solution where visible human expression is desired, such as teaching, air travel and sales.
One of the things that’s missing during the pandemic is the power of a smile. This clear respirator promises to improve interactions between neighbors, at the store and for those who have hearing impairments. – Jim Baumbick, Vice President, Enterprise Product Line Management, Ford Motor Company
Three new initiatives have been announced as part of #FinishStrong. These include special Super Bowl LV advertising, new mask donations and new solutions to help protect people against the virus. This Sunday, during Super Bowl LV, Ford will encourage Americans to come together, protect each other and fight COVID-19 in regions hit hardest by the virus. It also plans to distribute more than 25 million free medical-grade masks over the next five weeks alone. The Super Bowl LV message is expected to receive about 325 million impressions in some of the hardest-hit COVID-19 regions.
Ford has won kudos for the design and as many have pointed out, the clear masks will also help people on the autism spectrum.
— Ron Fournier (@ron_fournier) February 2, 2021
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