My name is Anissa, I'm 31 years old and in early April 2020, I went to the pharmacy to buy a medicine. I gave the prescription to the pharmacist and I stepped back to respect the marking on the ground (1m).
There were 3 employees. The 3 wore a surgical mask. At one point, the pharmacist asked me a question, unfortunately I couldn't read her lips (I have a moderate deafness). So I explained to her that I have a deafness and that I usually read on the lips but with the mask, I could not. She made the effort to speak louder, which I greatly appreciated.
There followed an exchange (minimum but difficult because I didn't understand the first time). I wanted to ask questions but I knew I was not going to hear well and I didn't want to put myself in an uncomfortable situation. Especially since I was a little stressed that she would ask me questions. Fortunately for me, that was not the case.
I left with my medicine and a little struck with this (unpleasant) adventure. I also thought after the confinement that we might all need, in order to protect ourselves and avoid a second wave of epidemics, to wear a mask. This kind of situation leads to stress, withdrawal, and little by little social exclusion.
There are different degrees of deafness: mild, moderate, severe and profound. There are also two types of deafness: perception or transmission deafness.
Depending on the degree of deafness, we hear the voice but we don't understand the message, it is distorted ... as if we heard a foreign language. So for some people, lip reading is an important way to support understanding.
And for people with severe / profound deafness and whose mode of communication is Sign Language, the mask prevents them from seeing the facial expression that is important in giving meaning to the speech.
After some research, I made a see through mask which makes it easy to lipread. Obviously it is a prototype, this is why, I set up this page so that we can TOGETHER create this mask that will allow inclusion and accessibility to 100% of D/deaf people. You may not be directly concerned by deafness but perhaps you know someone who is. Or who knows, later in life, you might be concerned by deafness.
A fundraiser had been set up on Gofundme.
The funds raised made it possible to finance the prototype, the purchase of raw materials, the creation of the company, the first production and the many additional costs that may have a major project.
Initially € 5,000 was estimated to start the project locally only but since the demand kept growing day by day, we have increased the pot to € 10,000. And for our greatest joy, we collected exactly € 18,563 in two months of campaign!
Our masks have been tested by the Directorate General of Armaments and the results are in accordance with the interministerial note of March 29, 2020.
(I remember having marked at the very beginning of the project: "if the goal of 5000 € is not reached, or if the project does not succeed for X or Y reason, I agree to reimburse each donor" Here we are, only two and a half months later, the production has started!
Whose is this for also?
This type of mask will also benefit early childhood professionals, staff in contact with customers (restaurants, shopping centers, ...), .... On top of that, this mask will allow us to see a face expression essential for human relationships/social because a smile can heal hearts. Finally, it makes it possible to identify the wearer thanks to the transparent window.
Since our masks respond primarily to a need of people with "special features", our dearest wish was that these masks were not only made by people with "special features" but also made in France! We brilliantly fulfilled our wishes: our masks are made by an Adapted Company which takes good care of its employees: APF Company based in the North of France.
Any questions ?
We are more than happy to answer any questions you may have at email@example.com or from the contact form here.