Vancouver non-profit turns to 3D printing to make deaf-friendly face shields

Apr 28 2020, 4:52 pm

Vancouver’s Wavefront Centre for Communication Accessibility has partnered with 3D printing company Tinkerine to produce deaf and hard of hearing friendly shields.

Nearly all governments around the globe have maintained stay-home orders, and the Government of Canada has suggested individuals wear surgical masks when leaving the home.

However, it greatly complicates the ability to communicate for those who are deaf or hard of hearing.

“Communication during COVID-19 is critical in making informed decisions to protect ourselves and our loved ones,” writes Wavefront CEO, Christopher Sutton. “For people who are deaf and hard of hearing, the use of masks has compromised communication.”

To provide those who need to be able to read lips and see facial expressions in order to communicate effectively, face shields are the answer. They block nearly as much incoming air-borne droplets and allow the entire face to remain visible.

Wavefront and Tinkerine are producing these masks by order for personal use donating 20% of the proceeds. However, they are also offering the public an opportunity to buy one for donation directly to the Wavefront charity.

To give or get a face shield, simply head to the Tinkerine online store.

“The partnership with Wavefront Centre helped us evaluate what it means to assist the needs of essential workers in current times,” said Tinkerine CEO Eugene Suyu.