Deaf, deaf, Hard of Hearing, Lipreader Face Mask Design Fest due to Coronavirus Pandemic and Mandatory Face Mask Wearing In UK Indoor Public Spaces!

July 25, 2020

Yes, an extra post, as normally I post only every two months!

With so many exhibitions cancelled, I have a little bit more time, so I am doing what I enjoy and writing another journal post!

While I am mostly involved in Fine Art, my practice is eclectic and I enjoy design work.  I’m going to ramble on down one track now, as my most recent project is in the forefront of my mind.  If you are here to look at a wider overview of my Fine Art, then scroll on down to the various past posts to get a wider overview.

jenny meehan british artist

jenny meehan

I have been very busy designing many options for reusable facemasks!  Inspired by a past career as a Dental Nurse, in which I wore a surgical face mask every working day, the mask topic has always been on my interest radar, and was right back in March 2020.  I do wish we were wearing them indoors in public spaces earlier in greater numbers, but, well, we are finally here in face mask time.

This is not very good for communications though…particularly for those who are Deaf, deaf, Hard of Hearing or have special needs which mean they really do need to see your face when talking.  There are many, many ways you can help make things easier, and the most important thing is to be kind and patient.  Ask the person you are talking to what you can do to help, and what they prefer. Everyone is very different.  Some people are comfortable with you lowering your mask at distance, others may not be.  There are speech to text apps, pen and paper, good lighting, reduction of background noise, making sure  you face the person directly, re phrase and repeat if necessary.  These are just a few suggestions.

Due to my own experience of what is often termed “hidden disability” during the most difficult phase of my trauma recovery journey and other disability (ie not being able to walk for more than ten minutes with a stick for just over a year prior to my knee replacement), plus the osteoarthritis which is still often quite a big pain, (though not in my new knee!) an interest in disabilities has emerged in my work.  Inclusive art is a key value, and to use my design skills to help others in creative visual ways is very exciting to me. I think taking part in the shape open last year helped too. https://www.shapearts.org.uk/blog/shape-open-2019-artists-announced

My design for a new international symbol of access is probably something which will never get any further than the publication in the Shape Open Catalogue, because there are huge amounts of hoops and legislation to do something like change the International Symbol of Access.  There are so many countries and organisations involved.  However, what I have been able to do is put my design hat on and come up with lots of options which I hope will act as communication prompts for people in certain situations.  Now we are wearing masks more of the time, to put things on a mask to help may be a good option for some people.  I have also ensured that many of my inclusive designs are available on other accessories and clothing for those who cannot wear a mask themselves.

I hope you like looking at these designs.  The are all ©Jenny Meehan

I use the approx 25% artist margin I get (when all deductions taken by redbubble for the manufacture, etc) to help buy materials for my fine art practice.  I have found over the years that being a fine artist is a challenge to sustain, but I do my best to try and sustain the creative vision and the work I do, basically because I believe wholeheartedly that visual art and all the arts are essential to good quality of life, health, and to an imaginative and vibrant culture.

My images are licensable via the Designer and Artists’ Copyright Society of which I am a member, so if you wish to license any of my images do get in contact.  The fees initially proposed by DACS are at the standard industry rate, but I am usually open to negotiation, depending on the nature of the project and usage.

Now I’ve posted loads of images as examples, but since doing so I have added more designs, so this is simply a taster! The best place to go to see the most up to date range of Deaf/deaf/Hardofhearing, Lipreading Face Masks, plus some for Special Needs is my redbubble “Explore”Designs Page;

https://www.redbubble.com/people/jennyjimjams/explore

 

A rather lippy one!

 

deaf_Deaf_Lipreader_FaceMasks_jenny_meehandeaf_Deaf_Lipreader_Face Masks_jenny_meehan to buy via redbubble print on demand site, inclusive designs and communication prompts for corona virus pandemic ©Jenny Meehan

deaf_Deaf_Lipreader_FaceMasks_jenny_meehandeaf_Deaf_Lipreader_Face Masks_jenny_meehan to buy via redbubble print on demand site, inclusive designs and communication prompts for corona virus pandemic ©Jenny Meehan

 

 

Deaf, deaf, Hard of Hearing, Lipreaders, + Face Masks

and Matching Accessories, including Bags, Notebooks, Badges and Clothing!

Featured Collection for 2020 due to Corona Virus Pandemic are over Inclusive Designs by Jenny Meehan

Link direct to the whole collection here: https://www.redbubble.com/people/jennyjimjams/shop?artistUserName=jennyjimjams&asc=u&collections=1511687&iaCode=all-departments&sortOrder=relevant

 

deaf_Deaf_Lipreader_FaceMasks_jenny_meehandeaf_Deaf_Lipreader_Face Masks_jenny_meehan to buy via redbubble print on demand site, inclusive designs and communication prompts for corona virus pandemic ©Jenny Meehan

deaf_Deaf_Lipreader_FaceMasks_jenny_meehandeaf_Deaf_Lipreader_Face Masks_jenny_meehan to buy via redbubble print on demand site, inclusive designs and communication prompts for corona virus pandemic ©Jenny Meehan

 

deaf_Deaf_Lipreader_FaceMasks_jenny_meehandeaf_Deaf_Lipreader_Face Masks_jenny_meehan to buy via redbubble print on demand site, inclusive designs and communication prompts for corona virus pandemic ©Jenny Meehan

deaf_Deaf_Lipreader_FaceMasks_jenny_meehandeaf_Deaf_Lipreader_Face Masks_jenny_meehan to buy via redbubble print on demand site, inclusive designs and communication prompts for corona virus pandemic ©Jenny Meehan

 

deaf_Deaf_Lipreader_FaceMasks_jenny_meehandeaf_Deaf_Lipreader_Face Masks_jenny_meehan to buy via redbubble print on demand site, inclusive designs and communication prompts for corona virus pandemic ©Jenny Meehan

deaf_Deaf_Lipreader_FaceMasks_jenny_meehandeaf_Deaf_Lipreader_Face Masks_jenny_meehan to buy via redbubble print on demand site, inclusive designs and communication prompts for corona virus pandemic ©Jenny Meehan

You can see there are many different kinds of merchandise available.

 

Deaf, deaf, Hard of Hearing, Lipreaders, + Face Masks

and Matching Accessories, including Bags, Notebooks, Badges and Clothing!

Featured Collection for 2020 due to Corona Virus Pandemic are over Inclusive Designs by Jenny Meehan

Link direct to the whole collection here: https://www.redbubble.com/people/jennyjimjams/shop?artistUserName=jennyjimjams&asc=u&collections=1511687&iaCode=all-departments&sortOrder=relevant

 

Here are some more examples.  Being a bit lazy and just showing screenshots.  Reason being I have spent so much time on this project that I seriously need to get into my studio tent and get on with some visual experiments I am busy with in there…!

deaf_Deaf_Lipreader_FaceMasks_jenny_meehandeaf_Deaf_Lipreader_Face Masks_jenny_meehan to buy via redbubble print on demand site, inclusive designs and communication prompts for corona virus pandemic ©Jenny Meehan

deaf_Deaf_Lipreader_FaceMasks_jenny_meehandeaf_Deaf_Lipreader_Face Masks_jenny_meehan to buy via redbubble print on demand site, inclusive designs and communication prompts for corona virus pandemic ©Jenny Meehan

deaf_Deaf_Lipreader_FaceMasks_jenny_meehandeaf_Deaf_Lipreader_Face Masks_jenny_meehan to buy via redbubble print on demand site, inclusive designs and communication prompts for corona virus pandemic ©Jenny Meehan

deaf_Deaf_Lipreader_FaceMasks_jenny_meehandeaf_Deaf_Lipreader_Face Masks_jenny_meehan to buy via redbubble print on demand site, inclusive designs and communication prompts for corona virus pandemic ©Jenny Meehan

deaf_Deaf_Lipreader_FaceMasks_jenny_meehandeaf_Deaf_Lipreader_Face Masks_jenny_meehan to buy via redbubble print on demand site, inclusive designs and communication prompts for corona virus pandemic ©Jenny Meehan

deaf_Deaf_Lipreader_FaceMasks_jenny_meehandeaf_Deaf_Lipreader_Face Masks_jenny_meehan to buy via redbubble print on demand site, inclusive designs and communication prompts for corona virus pandemic ©Jenny Meehan

deaf_Deaf_Lipreader_FaceMasks_jenny_meehandeaf_Deaf_Lipreader_Face Masks_jenny_meehan to buy via redbubble print on demand site, inclusive designs and communication prompts for corona virus pandemic ©Jenny Meehan

deaf_Deaf_Lipreader_FaceMasks_jenny_meehandeaf_Deaf_Lipreader_Face Masks_jenny_meehan to buy via redbubble print on demand site, inclusive designs and communication prompts for corona virus pandemic ©Jenny Meehan

deaf_Deaf_Lipreader_FaceMasks_jenny_meehandeaf_Deaf_Lipreader_Face Masks_jenny_meehan to buy via redbubble print on demand site, inclusive designs and communication prompts for corona virus pandemic ©Jenny Meehan

deaf_Deaf_Lipreader_FaceMasks_jenny_meehandeaf_Deaf_Lipreader_Face Masks_jenny_meehan to buy via redbubble print on demand site, inclusive designs and communication prompts for corona virus pandemic ©Jenny Meehan

I often do my exercises, which I need to do for my joints each morning and think up ideas for different designs while doing my exercises!

It’s a shame the masks have ear loops…I know these are not good for many people.   I think problems could be got around by doing what I do with my home made face covering…. a large elastic band and safety pins, works well and then the mask can go around the back of your head.  You can adjust the elasticity depending on where you pin the elastic bands (if I fabric face covering.  With the ear loop masks, I think if you had a big elastic band you could knot it round one loop and then use the pin on the other. Or just loop a large elastic band around the ear loops and join it with one safety pin.  Easy to remove when you need to wash your face mask.

 

deaf_Deaf_Lipreader_FaceMasks_jenny_meehandeaf_Deaf_Lipreader_Face Masks_jenny_meehan to buy via redbubble print on demand site, inclusive designs and communication prompts for corona virus pandemic ©Jenny Meehan

deaf_Deaf_Lipreader_FaceMasks_jenny_meehandeaf_Deaf_Lipreader_Face Masks_jenny_meehan to buy via redbubble print on demand site, inclusive designs and communication prompts for corona virus pandemic ©Jenny Meehan

deaf_Deaf_Lipreader_FaceMasks_jenny_meehandeaf_Deaf_Lipreader_Face Masks_jenny_meehan to buy via redbubble print on demand site, inclusive designs and communication prompts for corona virus pandemic ©Jenny Meehan

deaf_Deaf_Lipreader_FaceMasks_jenny_meehandeaf_Deaf_Lipreader_Face Masks_jenny_meehan to buy via redbubble print on demand site, inclusive designs and communication prompts for corona virus pandemic ©Jenny Meehan

deaf_Deaf_Lipreader_FaceMasks_jenny_meehandeaf_Deaf_Lipreader_Face Masks_jenny_meehan to buy via redbubble print on demand site, inclusive designs and communication prompts for corona virus pandemic ©Jenny Meehan

deaf_Deaf_Lipreader_FaceMasks_jenny_meehandeaf_Deaf_Lipreader_Face Masks_jenny_meehan to buy via redbubble print on demand site, inclusive designs and communication prompts for corona virus pandemic ©Jenny Meehan

The link which takes you to view ALL my designs, and not just the Deaf, deaf, Lipreaders, Hard of Hearing Collection of Face Masks, and matching accessories, badges, etc is here: 

https://www.redbubble.com/people/jennyjimjams/explore

 

deaf_Deaf_Lipreader_FaceMasks_jenny_meehandeaf_Deaf_Lipreader_Face Masks_jenny_meehan to buy via redbubble print on demand site, inclusive designs and communication prompts for corona virus pandemic ©Jenny Meehan

deaf_Deaf_Lipreader_FaceMasks_jenny_meehandeaf_Deaf_Lipreader_Face Masks_jenny_meehan to buy via redbubble print on demand site, inclusive designs and communication prompts for corona virus pandemic ©Jenny Meehan

deaf_Deaf_Lipreader_FaceMasks_jenny_meehandeaf_Deaf_Lipreader_Face Masks_jenny_meehan to buy via redbubble print on demand site, inclusive designs and communication prompts for corona virus pandemic ©Jenny Meehan

deaf_Deaf_Lipreader_FaceMasks_jenny_meehandeaf_Deaf_Lipreader_Face Masks_jenny_meehan to buy via redbubble print on demand site, inclusive designs and communication prompts for corona virus pandemic ©Jenny Meehan

deaf_Deaf_Lipreader_FaceMasks_jenny_meehandeaf_Deaf_Lipreader_Face Masks_jenny_meehan to buy via redbubble print on demand site, inclusive designs and communication prompts for corona virus pandemic ©Jenny Meehan

deaf_Deaf_Lipreader_FaceMasks_jenny_meehandeaf_Deaf_Lipreader_Face Masks_jenny_meehan to buy via redbubble print on demand site, inclusive designs and communication prompts for corona virus pandemic ©Jenny Meehan

 

The link which takes you to view ALL my designs, and not just the Deaf, deaf, Lipreaders, Hard of Hearing Collection of Face Masks, and matching accessories, badges, etc is here: 

https://www.redbubble.com/people/jennyjimjams/explore

 

 

The designs for Deaf, deaf, hard of hearing I have shown you here are some of the most recent ones, but I have designed a vast landscape of options, with many variations, including some with distancing prompts and reminders, some with specific reference to lipreading and others with none, some suggesting that the other person lowers their mask when asked, and others which just ask the other person to lower their mask automatically.  Some include “please” and other such niceties, others are just straight to the point.  I have consulted many people on the various issues which are encountered by Deaf, deaf and hard of hearing folk.  Not so much on the other reasons why people find communications adversely affected by face masks and face coverings.  I am open to being educated, so please do feel free to let me have constructive critical suggestions and feedback.  Very welcome.

 

There are exemptions to the new rules for children under 11, those with disabilities or certain health conditions, such as respiratory or cognitive impairments that make it difficult for them to wear a face covering.

There is a card you can print out from the government’s website, to show exception if  wished, but stressed people would not be expected to carry proof of an exemption.

Masks will not be mandatory in indoor venues that have other safety measures in place, including:

  • Eat-in restaurants
  • Pubs
  • Hairdressers and salons
  • Gyms and leisure centres
  • Cinemas, concert halls and theatres
  • Visitor attractions such as museums
  • Libraries

It’s worth noting that it’s perfectly reasonable for you to ask someone to remove their mask (at distance of min 1 metre advisable) if this is needed by you to aid communication.  People have different comfort levels and emotions can run high as people are  subject to various fears, and may have many different reasons to feel they want two people to wear face coverings, even if in a non medical setting for brief interactions, so worth bearing that in mind.  If someone is not comfortable, then they could used a visor, a transparent screen, or a face mask with a transparent window.

This is really important:

You can lower or remove a face mask or face covering:

if speaking with people who rely on lip reading, facial expressions and clear sound. Some may ask you, either verbally or in writing, to remove a covering to help with communication

It’s really important for people to keep their distance! Rather than whip your face mask or face covering down, ask first if the person wants that!

This also really important:

“In settings where face coverings are required in England, there are some circumstances, for health, age or equality reasons, where people are not expected to wear face coverings. Please be mindful and respectful of such circumstances, noting that some people are less able to wear face coverings, and that the reasons for this may not be visible to others.”

see more here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own#when-you-do-not-need-to-wear-a-face-covering

 

I have designed many other designs, hopefully suited to different needs, preferences and situations.  I hope they help!

 

The link which takes you to view ALL my designs, and not just the Deaf, deaf, Lipreaders, Hard of Hearing Collection of Face Masks, and matching accessories, badges, etc is here: 

https://www.redbubble.com/people/jennyjimjams/explore

 

If you have purchased any of my designs from redbubble.com, do please let me know, and if you have a photo of yourself and your purchase, send it my way if you are OK with it being published on the internet in this blog.  I don’t know the identity of who purchases products with my art and design on via Redbubble, so it’s always nice to know who is enjoying my work!

 

sunflower by Jenny Meehan ©Jenny Meehan

sunflower by Jenny Meehan ©Jenny Meehan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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