LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — During the pandemic there has been a surge of homemade masks that cover the face, but it appears many of them do not have a clear cover by the mouth. That is an issue for certain people that are hard of hearing and depend on reading lips.
Now, one woman is easing the stress for those who need it.
“It’s been everybody from kindergarten teachers, speech therapists, a lot of school teachers,” said Holly Taylor.
It’s not just the deaf and hard of hearing who benefit. The need goes beyond that community to education and Holly Taylor is trying to fill the demand.
She sews “Smiles Masks” from her home
“Which is a clear front. It conforms to the nose, covers your chin but you have complete view of your actual mouth,” Taylor said.
It’s a labor of love she started during the pandemic.
“I’m a medical technologist, so I’m in the laboratory,” Taylor said. “I had not sewn in over 30 years.”
After watching a YouTube video, she now volunteers her free time to make the face coverings.
She initially did it for a special education teacher. Due to its popularity and word of mouth, orders keep coming in.
“So far I’ve made about 150 and from places from Texas, I have a large order for a school in Utah, just various teachers around the valley,” Taylor said.
She says teachers want to be able to practice annunication and reading with their classes during the pandemic.
“It’s any mask. Whether it’s a full face mask or if it’s one of the paper masks, a surgical masks it’s going to muffle the sounds but being able to see how the sounds are being made will still make an impact for the kids,” Taylor said.
Masks like this also benefit other communities, including the deaf and hard of hearing.
“We’re in such a critical crisis and we’re requiring people to wear masks but we’re not giving the opportunity for everyone to seek the same benefits or same abilities by having those masks on,” Taylor said.
Taylor says it takes her about 45 minutes to make each mask. She continues doing it after receiving positive messages and knowing how it’s helping communities, which to her is the most important part.