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Jakarta Post

Transparent masks for people with impaired hearing

Mon, May 4, 2020   /   04:39 pm
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    Dwi Rahayu Februarti, 41, creates transparent face masks at her home in Sleman, Yogyakarta. JP/Arnold Simanjuntak

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    Dwi stitches the clear mask before sewing it with a machine. JP/Arnold Simanjuntak

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    Dwi uses an electric sewing machine to make her transparent masks. JP/Arnold Simanjuntak

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    Dwi and her husband Elfiandi Nain – both hearing-impaired – create transparent masks to facilitate communication for people with impaired hearing. JP/Arnold Simanjuntak

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    Dwi Rahayu Februarti sits in her mask workshop at her home in Sleman, Yogyakarta. JP/Arnold Simanjuntak

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    Dwi can only produce a small number of clear masks each day due to back problems. JP/Arnold Simanjuntak

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    Dwi and her husband Elfiandi wear clear masks while chatting in front of their home. JP/Arnold Simanjuntak

Arnold Simanjuntak

Dwi Rahayu Februarti, a mother with hearing impairment, runs a grocery kiosk out of her house in Sleman, Yogyakarta.

After the government ordered all citizens to wear masks amid the COVID-19 outbreak, she struggled to communicate with her customers, because the masks meant Dwi could no longer read their lips.

This sparked Dwi’s creativity.

Together with her husband Elfiandi Nain – who is also hearing-impaired, Dwi sews masks with a plastic inlay to facilitate communication for the hearing-impaired.

Dwi posted a prototype of her clear mask on social media and gained a positive response. She began receiving orders from customers across Indonesia. However, she can only produce a limited number of clear masks for now. Backpain prevents her from sitting too long in front of a sewing machine.

Dwi hopes the clear masks would be worn by many people, especially medical workers treating patients with a hearing impairment.[yps]