New “window masks” to help communication

The government has equipped workers in Monaco’s administrative services with transparent masks to make life easier for people with hearing loss or other impediments to understanding.

Since the start of the crisis and the advent of public mask-wearing, almost everyone has experienced the exasperation of not being able to properly hear or understand what is being said to them by a clerk, neighbour or friend.

To help eliminate some of this frustration, Monaco’s 22 administrative service departments will now be welcoming the public wearing transparent masks to facilitate easier communication.

Dubbed “window masks” by the Department of Social Affairs and Health, these new masks will have a see through centre, making the mouth visible and allowing lips to be read. This is imperative for the hard of hearing, but also helpful for those who rely on visual cues when understanding, especially if French is not their first language.

The machine washable, French-crafted masks are made of a light, breathable material and the transparent section is affixed away from the mouth for better comfort whilst speaking. They also, sensibly, are anti-fog treated.

Workers at these sites will be given an awareness guide on how to receive the deaf or hard of hearing and a poster will be placed in reception areas to indicate to the public that services for the hearing impaired are available. Finally, the Monegasque Association for Deaf People (AMPS) has made these masks available to those on the receiving end who require them.

Photo by Manuel Vitali / Government Communication Department