Another pandemic barrier for the deaf communities and some people in general… wearing masks which is a must to protect ourselves and others. Wearing masks are creating barriers in communicating with people. Visual expression is covered and for some, cannot lipread and it causes great anxiety.
In sign language, our face tells a story, it’s 70% of our language while 30% uses our hands. We have what you call mouth morpheme, conveys an adjective, adverb or other descriptive meaning in association with ASL word. Curious how, learn ASL ;0)
Prior masks, to lipread is mostly guesswork, about 30% and with the masks, none. Not everyone can lipread, please do not assume or ask someone if they can. And we will not ask you to remove your mask to communicate!
I decided to create an info-graphic to educate the public of other means of communication tools. In meantime, don’t assume that we are ignoring you. Be kind and patience. To get our attention, gently tap on our shoulders until we are face to face, then gesture. If we don’t understand your message, use one of these tools below.