Read My Lips, Un-Mask for Inclusion’s Sake! | Interview with Chad Curnew
March 3, 2022
Chad is a spokesperson for those in Canada that are deaf or hearing impaired and is also hearing impaired himself. He is returning to our show for the second time. Together with Take Action Canada, Chad is working on raising awareness of the 350,000 people across the country impacted by the mask mandates who would typically rely on reading lips and sign language to effectively communicate. Chad and Heather, an inclusion professional for the deaf community, share information on the Read My Lips Campaign.
On the challenges of wearing a mask and reading lips…
[Chad] For the past 14 months, there’s been a lot of suicide, alcohol problems and isolation. We have only 5 interpreters available for Newfoundland and they’re booked up solid with doctor’s appointments. They just can’t go to the grocery store with you because we don’t have that many here. What we need is for interpreters to go in with the deaf people and then go with them and go shopping. People don’t realize 70% of us use lip readings. We can rely on lips our whole life. That’s how we learn to communicate as a child, if we can depend on hearing.
On the Read My Lips Campaign…
[Heather] The first part is a button campaign. We’ve designed two buttons, one for the deaf and hard of hearing for them to wear in public as a symbol to indicate that they need you to remove your mask in order to be able to communicate. And then we’ve created a button for the hearing populations or people like myself, and you, Will, where we can wear a button in public as a symbol to identify ourselves as someone willing to remove their mask if it’s easier for the other person to communicate. And we’re going to be promoting these, through our Instagram and Twitter.
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