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Clear Masks

Traditional face masks interfere with lip reading and transmission of sign language "facial grammar," disrupting communication for people who are deaf or hard of hearing.  In fact, being unable to see facial expressions is a barrier to communication for many people: teachers, health professionals, performers, police, and more.

Clear masks -- those with a transparent window in front -- are being sought by many. Nationwide, volunteer sewists have produced and donated thousands of cloth masks, easing the PPE crisis. Together, let's shift mask culture to clear. 

HELP US

produce clear masks

We are coordinating an effort to produce clear masks for donation to school children with hearing impairments and the people they interact with daily.

Will you volunteer to make clear masks for people in your community, or send them to us for distribution?

Will you donate supplies, or funds to buy mask supplies?

Let us know

how you can help

Do you sew?

Stranger to needle and thread?

 
 

Mask Designs

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Dorothy Mask

This clear mask has a large window, a nose wire and elasticized chin cup for good fit, plus attachment for various wearing options (ear loops, headband, ties, etc.)

Sew it yourself from your own materials, or buy a kit with just the right amount of all materials.

Dorothy Hess,

Designer

Adam Clear Mask

Looking for a no-sew option? With these simple materials, you can make your own clear mask in just minutes.

Soft foam at nose and chin supports a very large clear panel.  Simple elastic ear loops make for easy on and off.  When not being worn, the mask is very flat, making it friendly to store or transport.

A young man in a green tee shirt and baseball cap bends over a sewing machine. Elsewhere on the table are cuts of fabric and various sewing implements.  Behind him is a 3D printer.

Adam El-Sawaf,

Designer

A young woman with her hair tied back and wearing a spotted blouse, looks up at the camera.  From nose to chin, she wears a clear plastic panel that reveals virtually all of her face.  White ear loops keep it in a curved shape while holding on.  Wide pieces of a black, spongy material across her nose/cheekbones and jaw/chin cushion the mask and stabilize it.

If you need a mask NOW

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Many efforts are underway to make clear masks available at little or no cost to those with acute need, such as the Virtual Sewing Fest (above).  The need is great, though, and these efforts will struggle to keep up.

The resources listed below are for those who are experiencing acute need and are able to obtain clear masks on their own, either by purchasing therm or making them themselves.

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Where to buy clear masks

Clear masks are available for purchase from an increasing number of vendors.  There's a spectrum of designs, prices, size ranges, degrees of protection, and, perhaps, quality of construction. 

The sources listed here are an un-curated list gleaned from internet searches and leads that have reached us from a variety of sources.  The list cannot be comprehensive, but if you have personal experience with any such vendor, please share it with us by email.            

The Adaptive Design Association (ADA) has no connection, financial or otherwise, with any of these vendors and has not evaluated their products.  Please be a careful consumer in evaluating their claims, and their trustworthiness. Similarly, if you are a vendor who wishes to be added to, or dropped from, this list, please contact us.

Make your own masks

If you can sew, or even if you can't, there are many options available for making clear masks at home, mostly with inexpensive, easy-to-obtain materials.  When you do it yourself, you can choose the combination of features you want, and exercise your creative instincts.

Beyond the two designs shown above, there are dozens of free designs available, most with detailed instructions in print or video format.

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Virtual Sewing Fest

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Sewists from around the world are united on Zoom to make and donate clear masks at the Virtual Sewing Fest.

On Thursday, September 24th, the first-ever Virtual Sewing Fest was held. It was to be a fun event, during which people sewed clear masks, listened to music, and heard a few brief presentations related to clear masks and about the organizations participating in the event. 

 

The goal: to recruit as many volunteers as possible to continue making clear masks after the event and distribute them to ion network for the masks they produce.  

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Over 80 people attended and although not everyone was sewing, many masks were completed and we expect more to come.  They're being distributed in the following weeks and months.

Image flyer for Virtual Sewing Fest on September 24th, 2020. Image shows three neon-purple females wearing white face masks, neon blue cat-eye sunglasses, and purple beanies. The  text reads: "Sew clear masks for a good cause! Virtual Sewing Fest. Meet new people, hear live music, learn from pros. Thursday, September 24th, 2020 at 10 AM PST and 1 PM EST. Register at virtualsewingfest.info."
Image of a group gathering on the Zoom platform: 5 rows of 5 rectangles each containg the image of a participant.  Several people can be seen sitting at sewing machines.