One day, I was walking through a hallway while wearing a mask. I smiled at a person who I was passing - only to realize he couldn’t see my smile. So, in his view, I looked like I was blindly staring at him.

The pandemic has brought a slew of inconveniences, but nothing can compare to the difficulties that the deaf community has to face every day in today’s mask-wearing world. As they lipread to understand what someone is saying, how are they supposed to participate in conversations when everyone’s wearing masks?

People are striving to fix this problem. Some neighborhoods have placed signs that read, “This area is a deaf community.” Manufacturers have resorted to creating ‘clear masks,’ which include a clear display of the wearer’s mouth so deaf people could easily read their lips.

Although, these practices aren’t popular enough to be definite solutions to the issues that the pandemic has posed. Most deaf people have trouble communicating in popular places - such as the supermarket, parks, and more - due to the mandates of masks. It is getting increasingly difficult to shop in stores, work at offices, and ultimately - live peacefully in a society that’s not built for the disabled.

Assistees is committed to making products that work toward an inclusive environment. Aside from our deaf t-shirts, we also craft bright red pin-back buttons that incorporate ASL.

At 3-inches wide, these buttons demand attention from onlookers. They project the wearer is deaf and communicates through ASL and lipreading. While they cannot assist in helping the wearer read lips through non-clear masks, they will inform onlookers of the situation and how to effectively communicate.

Our selection includes ‘I Am Deaf,’ I Can’t Read Your Lips with Your Mask On,’ and ‘I Use ASL.’

To shop, please visit here.