Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf

From Jonathan Odell at the Mass Commission for the Deaf-

I wanted to share our Coronavirus Communication Tool with you in the hopes that you can share with the Massachusetts Library Association and greater library community. We need this tool to become as publicized and shared as possible, as quickly as possible.

When we first realized that the Coronavirus was significantly impacting the elder population, we immediately realized that this would pose significant challenges for communication. In the age groups most affected by this terrible disease, anywhere from 30% to 50% are considered to be living with profound hearing loss that significantly impacts communication.

Imagine being sick and isolated and being in the hospital, not being able to hear, and not being able to speech-read medical providers wearing personal protective equipment such as masks!

To at least partially resolve this issue we created the attached tool, which can be used by medical providers, first responders, caregivers, anyone who finds it beneficial.

It has already garnered over 24,000 views on Facebook, has been shared hundreds of times, and we have received so many requests from other states and locations outside of Massachusetts that we created a separate version that omits the Massachusetts specific information.

This tool can be printed out and laminated, or displayed on an electronic device, and we have heard from many hospitals that they are already using it.

Please share as widely as possible.

Thank you!