See-through solution: deaf Indonesians turn to clear virus masks
Imam Saroso (R) and his wife Faizah Badaruddin, who are hearing and speech-impaired, pose with homemade face masks which enables people with disabilities like them to read lips. AFP
Lip-reading suddenly got tricky when everyone covered their face during the coronavirus pandemic, but Indonesian tailors have hit upon the perfect solution -- see-through masks.
One husband and wife duo in Makassar on Sulawesi island started producing cloth masks with transparent plastic in the middle to help fellow deaf people.
"Since the pandemic started, everyone is wearing facemasks. For deaf people, we can't understand what others are saying because we can't read their lips," said 52-year-old Faizah Badaruddin. "There were a lot of misunderstandings," she added.
Badaruddin and her husband used to sew cushions, bed sheets and curtains for customers. But when orders dried up, Badaruddin looked up instructional videos online to work out how to produce masks for the hearing impaired.
Since early April, the little business has been producing as many as two dozen transparent masks a day in small, medium and large sizes. They sell for between 10,000 rupiah to 15,000 rupiah (65 cents to 97 cents) each.