Coronavirus mask information

*** IMPORTANT INFORMATION ***

Deaf Victoria cannot provide advice about the appropriateness or safety of any protective equipment. Deaf Victoria does not purchase, sell or distribute face coverings or masks. 

Face coverings, masks and communication

In response to many enquiries from Deaf Community members, allies and those who work with deaf and hard of hearing people, the Deaf Victoria team has created this page to bring together some of the available information about masks and communication.   

Deaf Victoria cannot provide advice about the appropriateness or safety of any protective equipment. Deaf Victoria does not purchase, sell or distribute face coverings or masks. 

With face coverings now mandatory across Victoria, deaf and hard of hearing people are now facing further communication barriers. This can limit their ability to understand information in order to give informed consent in a medical setting or contribute equally as colleagues in a work setting for example.  

Communication tips and tools

Working together to ensure successful communication is everyone’s responsibility. One in six Australians has a hearing loss of some degree so thinking about how to communicate with someone using more than spoken language is now more important than ever. Try a pen a paper, mime or gesture, using a speech to text app or booking an Auslan Interpreter for a video dial in!

Coronavirus Advocacy Graphics

Tools for Deaf and hard of hearing people to make their communication needs known

The Victorian Department of Health and Human services has advised an exemption for wearing a mask if removing it is necessary when communicating with deaf or hard or hearing people. Whilst other methods of communication can be used such as writing notes, pointing, speech to text app etc, sometimes removing a mask at a safe distance may be the only way to ensure clear communication.

Here is a list of speech to text apps that can assist with communication.

Otter.aivisit website

VoiceNoteBookvisit website

Evernotevisit website

Google Live Transcribevisit website

Deaf and hard of hearing friendly face coverings 

Deaf Victoria has received many enquiries about clear face shields and face masks with see-through panels as some people would like to use these as alternatives in social, family, or non-clinical settings.  

Deaf Victoria cannot provide advice about the appropriateness or safety of any protective equipment. Deaf Victoria does not purchase, sell or distribute face coverings or masks. 

However, due to the large volume of requests for where to get these, we have developed a brief guide to accessing deaf friendly masks and shields. This list does not contain all suppliers, rather those who have been proactive in making these available to deaf and hard of hearing people and their allies.
Before you purchase any of these products, please check with the supplier of the product to see if they will meet your needs and any relevant guidelines for use. This list of providers will not be extensively updated as it is intended to be a guide only.  

Deaf Victoria loves to support the “Deaf Ecosystem”, so if are aware of someone who is deaf or hard of hearing making deaf friendly face coverings (masks with a clear screen, clear face shield, mask clips, masks with printed slogans for the Deaf Community such as “I am Deaf”), please get in touch with us so we can share your products. 

Masks with clear screen 

Inclusive Fask Masks

danielle.fosberry@gmail.com

DEAF MADE 
DEAF ALLY
 DEAF FRIENDLY

$15 each + postage 

Supporting the deaf community by contributing to the deaf ecosystem.

EvacuLife

evaculife.com.au

DEAF MADE
DEAF ALLY 
 DEAF FRIENDLY 

$15 each + postage

Supporting the deaf community by providing a discount for their products to the deaf community: DEAFVIC15.

Clear face shields

SafeAs Face Shield Washable and ClearAs

safeas-108578.square.site

DEAF MADE
DEAF ALLY
DEAF FRIENDLY 

$15.00 + postage

Supporting the deaf community by providing a discount code: DV10.

Mask and shield support accessories  

SafeAs Adjustable Mask Ear hook extender

safeas-108578.square.site

DEAF MADE
DEAF ALLY
DEAF FRIENDLY

$1.50 + postage 

Supporting the deaf community providing a discount code: DV10.

Reusable masks

Aussie Defender

aussiedefender.com.au/store

 DEAF MADE
DEAF ALLY
DEAF FRIENDLY 

Starting price $19.95 + GST.

Supporting the deaf community by providing a 40% discount code: frontline40

Victorian Government information about face coverings and masks 

The Victorian Government is distributing free reusable face masks to community members to disadvantaged Victorians which can be requested through eligible agencies (like your disability organisation if you are receiving services like in-home care or independent living skills support). This program is aimed to help those unable to get their own face mask because of their disability or services like disability carers/support workers being provided with masks to protect workers and clients. Deaf Victoria as an advocacy organisation (not a service provider) are not involved with this program and cannot provide masks.  

More information about the program can be found at https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/reusable-face-masks-covid-19 

Victorian Government video about the impact of masks for communication within the deaf community video.