Deaf community overcoming barriers during COVID-19 pandemic

Local News

BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — The COVID-19 pandemic is an obstacle for everyone, but one community may be having a more difficult time.

People who are hearing impaired rely on reading lips while in social situations. Now, with everyone wearing masks, they do not have that method of communication anymore. The deaf community also struggles to receive accurate information about COVID-19 because of a lack of interpreters.

Kelly Elkins is the Community Resource Facilitator for Mount State Centers for Independent Living.

“It’s opening inclusion. It’s creating an equal playing field, an understanding that everyone knows what’s going on right now during this pandemic and that they are getting the right information, and the correct information and that they aren’t getting second hand knowledge,” Elkins said.

If you own a business, Elkins suggested having a pen and paper on hand so you can communicate with anyone who may hearing impaired.

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