FAQ

Frequently asked questions

Are clear masks FDA approved? Which ones are they?


Not all of them are. The Food Drug Administration (FDA) checks medical devices to see if they meet standards on use in medical settings. Pandemic shortages have led to requests for the general population to save medical-grade masks for frontline workers. If you need medical-grade masks, we're proud to showcase two options on our database: Both The Communicator™ and the ClearMask™ have been reviewed by the FDA. The ClearMask™ is FDA-cleared and meets ASTM Level 3 standards. [ FDA approval PDF] The Communicator™ by Safe'N'Clear is a FDA-registered mask that meets ASTM Level 1 standards. [ FDA approval PDF]




What is accessiblemasks.org?


Hello! We're glad you're curious–and hope you have a transparent face covering soon! accessiblemasks.org is a project created by two deaf brothers born and raised in New England: Jacob deHahn, a UX/UI & research designer in San Francisco, and Patrick deHahn, a journalist in Brooklyn. Read more about us here. With zero financial strings, this website is solely built as a curated platform for people to easily find clear face masks and help make the masked world accessible for the deaf and hard of hearing.




Why accessiblemasks.org?


First of all, we take the pandemic seriously and encourage mask usage. We've personally dealt with the challenges of how the masked world is inaccessible. Our goal is to have accessiblemasks.org be an easy go-to resource for everyone to start wearing an accessible mask—which includes those in service industries, school systems, essential businesses, elderly care, and the election process. Whether you buy a mask for yourself personally or encourage others to transition to clear masks, we thank you for joining us in our mission towards global accessibility. Stay safe and be healthy. 🙏




How'd you find these businesses?


Most of these businesses and vendors were found through our own research and verification (some we purchased and/or were recommended by other deaf and hard of hearing friends). We communicated with each business and verified their goals in supporting accessibility. All photos provided on accessiblemasks.org have been approved by each business.




Can I contact you? Can I recommend a business/vendor?


Please do! 👍 We're at accessiblemasks@gmail.com if you want to shoot us an email, or catch us at @accessiblemasks on Instagram. If you know of a vendor you like and support, please don't hesitate to pass them along to us.




What does the CDC say about clear masks?


The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recognizes the value of clear masks, and advocates for their use when around deaf or hard of hearing people. In fact, the CDC's guidance was changed when the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association wrote to the US agency urging it to update their considerations on mask use so it would include the deaf and hard of hearing population. Here's the CDC guidance:
People who are deaf or hard of hearing—or those who care for or interact with a person who is hearing impaired—may be unable to wear masks if they rely on lipreading to communicate. In this situation, consider using a clear mask. If a clear mask isn’t available, consider whether you can use written communication, use closed captioning, or decrease background noise to make communication possible while wearing a mask that blocks your lips. Doctors recommend that you make sure the accessible mask covers your nose and mouth, is made well with strongly woven layered cloth, and with no breathable holes through the plastic or cloth.





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