Mother and Daughter Make Transparent Masks to Help Deaf and Hearing-Impaired People

The Tailor Pros in Sutton is producing clear masks to help those reliant on lip-reading

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The whir of sewing machines and the click of snipping scissors fill The Tailor Pros shop in Sutton, Massachusetts, as alterations have taken a back seat to mask-making.

"I never thought that being a tailor would be such an important thing right now," said Jasmyne McKenna, owner of The Tailor Pros.

McKenna's youngest daughter, Julianna, joined her at the shop after her senior year at the University of Rhode Island went remote.

But the recent grad with a degree in communicative disorders quickly realized the cloth masks weren't working for everyone.

"A family had reached out to us about it because they had said that their daughter was deaf and was having trouble because the cloth masks are covering the mouth," said Julianna McKenna.

The masks made it so she was unable to read lips.

So using Julianna's background and Jasmyne's sewing skills, they created transparent masks to help address the issue.

"People can see your mouth here," explained Julianna McKenna, wearing the mask, "so nothing's obstructed, but you're still – it's still being blocked and protected."

And from there, the requests poured in, with others seeing the value in a covering that doesn't mask their emotions.

"In preschools, the infants, it works for them, and children with ASD, it works for them, or children who have sensory issues," said Julianna McKenna.

And the mother-daughter duo couldn't be prouder of what their collaboration has created.

"It has been one of the best times of our lives together, working," Jasmyne McKenna said.

"I didn't expect it to be so big, and I didn't expect it to help so many more people," Julianna McKenna added.

After donating about 3,000 masks, Jasmyne McKenna says they need to charge for them, but they're just $15 each, and she'll work with people who need help.

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