Clear Masks for Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and DeafBlind NC residents

NC Division of Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DSDHH) is distributing clear masks to Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and DeafBlind NC residents and professionals that actively serve them.

Please scroll down the page for various videos on the appropriate use of clear masks

Purpose

DSDHH established the initiative to distribute clear masks as a way to promote effective communication between Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and DeafBlind people and their providers while also ensuring their safety in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The need to wear masks has proven to be a huge barrier to communication for North Carolina’s 1.2 million people with hearing loss, many of whom rely on lipreading and facial expressions to be able to communicate. Through this initiative, DSDHH also strives to educate and increase awareness about the availability of clear masks as an accommodation for communication access. 

How this distribution works

Deaf, Hard of Hearing and DeafBlind recipients will carry their supply of clear masks and when in a situation where they are unable to understand a provider due to the face being obstructed by a face mask, they can give the provider one of their clear masks to use while communicating. The goal of this initiative is that more providers will become aware of these options and purchase masks to use with their other clients and patients with hearing loss.

What will be distributed

While DSDHH is not endorsing one clear mask over another, DSDHH selected the ClearMask™ for distribution because it is FDA-registered and currently available for use by hospitals and health care providers. The ClearMask™ is a face mask that is meant for one-time, temporary use. DSDHH cannot guarantee how the product will perform and is not responsible for any type of misuse as well as individuals getting infected with COVID-19.

While supplies last, each requestor will receive five ClearMask™ samples. Each ClearMask™ sample will come in an individual, sanitized packet with a pamphlet including the following information:

This is first come, first served and the request form will be unavailable when supplies run out.

Who is eligible for a ClearMask™ sample from DSDHH?

  • NC residents who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing, late-deafened, or DeafBlind (have both a hearing and vision loss).
  • Professionals that actively serve Deaf, Hard of Hearing, late-deafened and DeafBlind people such as interpreters, Support Service Providers, human service professionals, health care professionals, and emergency responders.

To request your ClearMask™ samples, please complete the online request form.