Kentucky student makes masks for deaf community


LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKRN) — A Kentucky college student has broken out her sewing machine to help a population she thinks is being overlooked right now.

More than 650 people in the commonwealth have seen positive test results for COVID-19 and that is why 21-year-old Ashley Lawrence is learning how to sew.

But the masks she is creating are not just any mask. They are for the deaf and hard of hearing.

“People who are profoundly deaf who use ASL as their primary mode of communication — ASL is very big on facial expressions and it is that’s part of the grammar. So, I don’t know if you have seen Virginia Moore on (Governor) Andy Beshear’s things at 5 o’clock, but she’s very emotive, and if half of that is gone because you’re wearing a mask then half of what you’re saying is being missed so even if it’s not physically talking just using ASL then you need to have that kind of access,” explained Lawrence.

Lawrence is studying education for the deaf and hard of hearing so this is a bit of a passion project for her. She is making the masks with bed sheets, plastic fabric, elastic… and a little bit of creativity.

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