Mask Trial by Inclusion Gloucestershire
Inclusion Gloucestershire is an all age, all disability user-led organisation. Our aim is to capture voices, create opportunities and show what is possible. We have been delighted to be involved in the Let’s Be Clear campaign alongside Barnwood Trust and other like-minded inclusion partners in the county to raise awareness of the challenges traditional face masks pose for people who rely on lip reading and facial expressions to understand.
We can definitely see the benefits of clear masks – the settings we visit on our Quality Checks support vulnerable client groups with a range of disabilities and health conditions. Disabilities may include hearing difficulties and the need to clearly see someone’s face / mouth to allow lip reading, but also to assist with reading expression and emotion. Some people may find our team wearing a covered face mask distressing for a variety of reasons, including previous trauma. Our Quality Checking team consists of a majority of people with lived experience of disability and so face to face communications within the team would be greatly enhanced with a clear mask as opposed to a face covering.
So, we agreed to trial a number of different clear face masks to feedback on criteria such as comfort, protection and wear-ability. Here are the 3 that came out on top:
We liked the washable clear facemask from School Smart. One of the team said: “I found the mask to be quite comfortable, it’s helpful that it folds in half making it easy to stow away and it washed well with clear and simple cleaning instructions included. It did fog a little but people were able to read my lips and I like the fact that they could see me smile”.
Clare from the team trialled the clear mask from Craft Masks Design: “This mask offers comfort and protection. I think clear masks are a great idea; I probably wouldn’t choose to wear this one all of the time just due to material preference, but I will wear it in situations I feel it will help others to see what I am saying. A lady in a shop even commented on how much better it is that she could see what I was saying behind the mask”.
Louise from the team trialled the Friendly Facemask: “I wore the mask on the school run and when I popped to the shops. I found it reasonably comfortable and as protective as my other masks. It did fog sometimes but I was able to wipe the inside with a tissue. When I wasn’t wearing it, I stored it in a plastic bag as it’s not quite as easy to fold and put it in your pocket”.
To find out more about Inclusion Gloucestershire please visit www.inclusiongloucestershire.co.uk