Wednesday, 19 August 2020

Please lower your mask for me..


A deaf woman from Dumfries says she feels isolated from the world because she can't lip read while people are wearing face coverings. Eileen Cassells says some retail workers have refused to pull down their masks when she's tried to communicate with them - despite government guidelines saying it is allowed. 

Eileen said: "We feel threatened when wearing a mask because we're not able to lip read them which is very depressing." Every time Eileen wants to speak to somebody - she has to try and navigate a way around this new barrier, which isn't always successful. 

On several occasions, retail staff have refused to lower their maks, despite her explaining that she's deaf and needs to lipread. She continued: "Some of them will not take it down but they're mumbling away to themselves. "My sister asked me to return something and I said to the girl could you pull your mask down because she had a shield and she was mumbling away. "But then she called another member of staff and again she's talking away and I went could you remove your mask and the two of them were mumbling away.

ATR:  Scottish advice is just that, it may be 'allowed' but the individual can still refuse to do that if they believe a risk of infection is possible.  ATR believes mask removal requests are dangerous and silly demands, masks are there for a purpose and that purpose is not to discriminate against the Deaf or the deaf lip-readers.  There are deaf who would not remove theirs.

What is conveniently missing from this demand and sad tale of woe,  is the fact deaf people have a number of alternatives they can also use, which suggests the campaigns are less than forthcoming at explaining what alternatives are also possible and viable.  The curiosity being hardcore sign users are NOT asking for signed support and suddenly all became lip-readers after COVID, which is not a symptom as far as I am aware, and it's basically untrue.  The item suggests deaf are unable to adapt which is not true either.

Obviously, some deaf are refusing to adapt and claiming they can't.