Highlight Québec’s National Hearing Day with your best smile by sporting the HUMASK Pro Vision™ windowed mask
LOUISEVILLE, May 3, 2022 — Partners of the Hard of hearing community and those around them from the start, the manufacturer of protective masks HUMASK would like to highlight Québec's National Hearing Day and invites you to make a difference to make life easier for those living with hearing loss by proudly wearing their Pro Vision™ window mask.
If the mask mandate has proven to be beneficial for protection against the COVID-19 virus, an unsuspected effect has unfortunately manifested itself: speech development in children has been affected, even slowed down. The physical barrier that the mask constitutes between the speaker and the interlocutor diminishes auditory signals and eliminates visual clues, which constitutes a major issue for people living with a hearing loss.
The father of a child living with hearing loss himself, vice-president and co-founder of HUMASK, Luc Girard, saw the need to gather his team around the drawing board to develop the Pro Vision™ windowed mask:
“Our goal was to promote lip reading, which is essential for people who are hard of hearing and deaf. To ensure that our mask offers better freedom of movement, we have incorporated a larger space between the mouth and the window to keep the voice projection and sound quality optimal.”
HUMASK's Pro Vision™ Windowed Mask is the world's first transparent medical mask that meets the requirements of ASTM F2100 Levels 2 and 3. These standards are established by the American Society of Testing Materials (ASTM) and are applied in Canada and the United States.
The Canadian Hard of Hearing Association (CHHA) and Audition Québec underlined the importance of this discovery for their clientele, for whom the mandatory use of face masks during the pandemic meant being silenced:
“The mouth is the vehicle of thought and emotions. Seeing facial expressions helps in interpretation and contributes to the understanding of the message. 55% of communication is visual,” said Audition Québec Board Chair Jeanne Choquette.
To illustrate this considerable collateral effect, we share this message sent by Mélanie, a college student:
“The masks that we must wear prevent me from going to school, because I cannot read the lips of the teachers. Without lip reading, comprehension is almost nil. I really want to finish my CEGEP.”
This touching cry from the heart contributed to the motivation of the HUMASK team for their research aimed at designing a high-quality, flexible, and lightweight masks, which protect as much as they help communication. The catchphrase “the human behind the mask” has once again demonstrated its full meaning.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), one in four people could experience hearing problems by 2050, that is more than a billion people, literally a quarter of the world's population
In Canada, the numbers are just as staggering:
- 31.5% of the population has a hearing problem, of which 57% are aged between 20 and 70;
- Three out of five adults (60%) live with hearing loss (23%), one or more tinnitus (22%) or both (14%)
In Québec, 31% of the population live with a hearing problem, i.e., more than 2.1 million people. Of this number, only 13.5% are people over the age of 70. This means that hearing loss diagnoses are on the rise among young people.
On this important day of awareness and visibility, the HUMASK team would like to salute the remarkable work of all those involved in hearing health and communication fields for whom the Pro Vision™ windowed mask has proven to be a valuable work and inclusion tool.
“Wearing a windowed mask allows the hard of hearing community to join the conversation. It is a mark of respect and a remarkable altruistic gesture that brings a big smile.” concludes Luc Girard.