Clear Masks and Accommodations for the Hard-of-Hearing

Are you hard-of-hearing and working on campus? If you experience issues with understanding your colleagues due to them wearing face coverings, contact the Accessibility Advisor, Rachel.desjourdy [at] Clear Masks are available as an accommodation for employees who are hard-of-hearing and rely on lip reading for communication. These masks will be distributed to the employee and their colleagues, increasing accessibility of communication. These accommodations are not limited to those with hearing disabilities, as employees who are not hard-of-hearing may experience other disability-related barriers that impact communication.

Not hard of hearing, but interested in what you can do to support accessible communication while following proper health directives?

The OPHQ article summarizes eleven tips and tricks to facilitate communication when wearing a face covering:

  1. Ensure you have the individual’s attention before you start to speak
  2. Speak at a normal volume. Yelling or shouting can distort the sounds of your words
  3. Avoid having your back to the light as this obstructs your visibility
  4. Speak slowly and clearly, without infantilizing
  5. Use hand gestures and pointing to support what you are saying
  6. If asked to repeat multiple times, or if the person does not understand, rephrase
  7. Use short sentences and pause between phrases
  8. Check for understanding
  9. If possible, use pen and paper to communicate, while ensuring that you are respecting social distancing and proper hygiene measures. For example, you can use a notebook, a questionnaire, a whiteboard, or a text app on your phone or tablet
  10. Think about using technology: you can use voice amplifiers, amplified telephones or speech recognition apps to support
  11. If possible, opt for a facial covering with a clear window. These masks are available for purchase by several vendors, or can be made at home using the do-it-yourself instructions on

Have questions or want more information? Contact Rachel Desjourdy, Accessibility Advisor at Rachel.desjourdy [at]

Other resources:

McGill University is on land which has long served as a site of meeting and exchange amongst Indigenous peoples, including the Haudenosaunee and Anishinabeg nations. We acknowledge and thank the diverse Indigenous peoples whose presence marks this territory on which peoples of the world now gather.

For more information about traditional territory and tips on how to make a land acknowledgement, visit our Land Acknowledgement webpage.

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