Unique face mask line has “windows” and head band loops for those who rely on lip reading, hearing aids or cochlear implants.
ADCO Hearing Products is manufacturing and selling face masks that address the issues that those who are hard of hearing experience wearing common masks, such as being unable to read lips and facial expressions, as well as uncomfortable ear straps.
As businesses, government agencies, schools, non-urgent healthcare providers and such re-open across the country, employees will need to protect themselves by wearing masks and following safety guidelines from the CDC.
However, there is a population that is negatively impacted by everyone wearing masks – the deaf and hard of hearing community. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, these customers, citizens, students, patients, etc. are entitled to services that accommodate their disability. The widespread use of face masks makes it difficult for people who rely on reading lips and facial expressions to communicate effectively. ADCO has a long-standing history of assisting businesses and organization across the country with maintaining ADA and HR compliance. The addition of these new face masks is an extension of that mission.
ADCO owner, Abby Armijo, learned of the need for special types of masks and jumped at the opportunity to help. On May 12, Colorado Governor Jared Polis gave a Facebook shout out to ADCO, praising the masks designed for the hard of hearing community.
“No one should have to choose between safety and effectively communicating. Our team has been working closely with the community to develop a face mask that meets the needs of as many people as possible. We are continuously re-thinking additional designs to ensure there are masks for everyone,” explains Armijo.
ADCO’s unique communicator masks give a clear view of the wearer’s mouth without compromising anyone’s safety.
“It’s important that we make it easy for people who rely on lip reading to be included and protected. With the window masks, we can,” Armijo says. “For those who rely on cochlear implants or hearing aids, the ear loops make wearing a face mask uncomfortable, so we tackled that by designing a headband option.”
When worn in conjunction with cochlear implants or hearing aids, the headband is a much more comfortable alternative to traditional ear loops. The mask’s ear loops attach to the headband rather than being worn behind the ears. These headbands were designed specifically for those who use hearing aids and cochlear implants, but can be worn comfortably by anyone. “Headbands have been popular with medical professionals, people who wear masks all day and eyeglass wearers,” says Armijo.
ADCO’s production line initially ramped up in the homes of employees and volunteers. Armijo explains, “We developed an assembly line team. One person was cutting, then another did the initial sew, then the finishing work, all the way down to the packaging. Even my seven-year-old son was helping seal and put instructions in the bags.”
Due to high demand, ADCO is now using a large-scale production facility to mass produce thousands of:
- Hearing Aid-Friendly Masks
- Cochlear Implant-Friendly Masks
- Communicator (Window) Masks
Schools, government entities and any organization that is working toward reopening can maintain CDC safety guidelines and ADA compliance by providing their employees with communicator (Window) masks. These masks let the citizens, students and patients they serve read lips, allowing for clearer communication.
ADCO has partnered with local manufacturers to expand production rapidly. Orders are being produced and shipped as quickly as possible. To inquire or order, call 800-726-0851 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. New face mask designs will be updated and available for purchase on ADCO’s website.
About ADCO Hearing Products, Inc.
ADCO Hearing Products is proud to be a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOB) and GSA contractor. ADCO has been serving the hearing community for more than 65 years. They provide a broad catalog of supplies to the hearing loss community and to the healthcare professionals that serve them. To learn more, visit http://www.adcohearing.com.