Leader, July 17 2020

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Communication is key

Since they became mandatory it has been hard to escape adverts for a wide range of face coverings on social media and online ‘for sale’ pages.

Despite the myriads of designs on offer, we at the Courier had never seen a mask with a transparent panel to allow for lip reading until the Kintyre Community Resilience Group shared photos of those made by Kintyre Scrubs.

Clearly it had not occurred to many people that the inability to communicate this way would be an issue for people with hearing impairments, given the lack of face masks on offer that cater for lip readers.

It is a shame, but probably inevitable, that until we are directly affected by something, we can be completely unaware of the issues which could arise for some people from new rules and regulations.

It is also worth pointing out that not everyone has to wear a mask – the Scottish Government has outlined a number of reasons why people may be unable to do so.

Those who are exempt may already feel vulnerable having to put themselves at higher risk than others, so should not be made to feel like they are breaking the rules.

Those people are being advised that they should not have to produce a doctor’s letter or any other proof of their exemption – something of which we should all take note.