Alexandra Workwear ‘gives lifeline to deaf community’
with clear face coverings

18 September 2020

The UK’s leading workwear company, Alexandra, is now producing clear face coverings to help the deaf and hard of hearing communicate during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Bristol-based company was approached by clients in the healthcare and education sectors to come up with a PPE solution for deaf and hard of hearing patients and students struggling with wearing standard face masks.

Alexandra has worked with key suppliers to produce the purpose-designed coverings, which are breathable, washable and will not mist up when worn. 

Purchasing and Category Manager at Alexandra, Nick Reynolds, said: “We are pleased to now be able to supply clear face coverings because we know they will be a lifeline for the deaf community and anyone who relies on lip reading to communicate. 

“As the Government continues to extend the settings where face coverings are required, we hope that this project will help deaf people and those they travel with feel safer and more confident in public places.

“We are very grateful to everyone who has worked with us to complete the design and testing process, and we will be supplying the first customers with their orders in the next few weeks.”

Clear face coverings allow lip-reading and facial expressions to be interpreted which is a vital way of communicating for the 12 million UK people who are deaf or hard of hearing (DHH). Current guidelines allow anyone who is travelling with a DHH person to remove their mask to communicate.

Ayla Ozmen, Head of Policy and Research at charity Action on Hearing Loss, said: “Face coverings present a communication barrier that result in millions of people living with hearing loss feeling even more isolated and anxious at an already difficult time. Face coverings with clear panels are helpful for them because they rely heavily on visual cues for effective communication, including facial expressions and lip-reading. 

“However, as we’re a long way from the widespread adoption of these face coverings, people should also be aware that if someone who is deaf or has hearing loss asks you to step back and remove your face covering to communicate with them, you wouldn’t be acting illegally in doing so.”

The new clear coverings form part of Alexandra’s new range of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). The company has used its extensive national and international supply chain to source quality PPE such as masks, aprons and gloves to protect NHS and other key workers during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Nick added: “We have now produced five million face coverings for several different industries including healthcare and hospitality. We expect that demand for PPE will continue to increase and Alexandra is committed to helping people protect themselves for as long as necessary.”

Alexandra is the UK’s leading workwear solutions company. For more information please visit www.alexandra.co.uk

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