VINCENNES, Ind. (WTHI) - In her classes, Janet Schwall teaches students to speak using their hands, body movements, and mouth. Using expressions to help express themselves.
Schwall says, "In ASL, signing, mouth movements, eye movements, eyebrow movements, the mouth, and the mouthing can explain adverbs and adjectives."
The pandemic has put a roadblock on much of that communication. That roadblock comes in the form of a facemask.
Schwall explains, "Going to the grocery store, talk about awkward. So you go in, you've got a mask on, I have no idea if people are trying to talk to me."
This communication breakdown goes into every public setting. Schwall says for her and her family it can be difficult.
But she says there are things that can help. One way is to use a mask with clear plastic over your mouth. That way the deaf can still read your lips.
Another is using common gestures to convey your message. Schwall says it's all about working together and being patient.
Schwall explains, "Getting out of your comfort zone, not being afraid, be patient, try your best. If something doesn't work try a different technique."
To learn how to make a deaf-friendly mask: Click Here