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Update | Tuesday, June 16, 2020

A picture of the mask with a clear panel for the lips. Jacqueline Leisenheimer, an analyst in Facilities Management, has spent a number of hours handmaking special face masks. Disability Services requested the masks once it came to their attention that standard face masks that cover the mouth prohibit anyone with hearing impairments to read lips. That often means a hearing-impaired student doesn’t know what the instructor is saying, nor can they communicate with classmates. 

Disability Service’s Sheryl Killen contacted Facilities Management to find out if they could obtain special see-through masks.  “Gary Yun, a manager in Facilities Management, and I immediately went to work trying to secure face masks that allow the mouth area to be seen,” says Leisenheimer. “Only one source could be found, and that vendor would have no stock to ship until late June.” That didn’t stop her. Leisenheimer says she had already made several different styles of face masks. Having seen the type of mask that was required, she knew this was a task she could accomplish on her own.

The masks are made of 100% cotton fabric with a heavyweight clear vinyl insert. The use of ties ensures a custom fit for each individual. Once Leisenheimer refined the design and process, it took her about two hours to assemble each mask. So far, they have made just over a dozen that are needed for Summer Semester. Additional masks will likely be needed later this summer and in the fall.  Adds Leisenheimer, “In Facilities Management, we strive to exceed expectations. Our leadership sets the example, and all of us are committed to doing whatever is necessary to meet the needs of the College. There is no project too big, and I consider this to be another of our team achievements.”


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