FORT MYERS, Fla. — Tara Golub, owner of The Pink Petunia Consignment Boutique in Fort Myers heard our story surrounding the struggles the deaf community is facing during the pandemic and knew she could be part of the solution.
“You know I just figured if we can help in any little way, you know I think this is one little baby step to a way of helping them,” said Golub, Owner of The Pink Petunia.
Even though masks are safe, and help combat the spread of COVID- 19, for those who are deaf or hard of hearing, they can make communication nearly impossible. Standard masks don’t allow you to read lips.
Golub says, she can’t begin to fathom what struggling to communicate with others is like.
“When they go out, there is really no way for them to communicate anymore there no way for them to understand how people are talking to them. Picture walking into a Walmart and somebody is saying something to you and you have no idea what they are saying to you,” said Golub.
Tara called her friend Rosslyn Thomson who started making masks at the beginning of the pandemic, knowing she would be perfect for the job.
“So when Tara contacted me about the masks for the hearing impaired, and I hadn’t really considered that, but I thought wow that’s a great idea,” said Rosslyn Thomson.
Making each mask individually by hand, Thomson tells me she too never truly realized what this community is facing.
“If I’d known it sooner I would’ve started it a lot sooner. The hearing impaired are having a difficult time because they can’t see people's lips, and it never occurred to me that, that would be something I could do” said Thomson.
Thomas began her new project Wednesday by adding clear vinyl windows to her typical masks. She has roughly 10 masks currently in stock and Thompson says more are on the way.
“ I haven’t seen the results just yet, but I’m sure that as much as Tara has expressed to me, how difficult of a time they have communicating, I'm sure it’ll be a really big help for them,” said Thomson.
If you’d like to order a mask please give Rosalyn Thomson a call at 239-691-9183. Tara Golub, owner of The Pink Petunia can be also be reached at 239 243 8944 or on the store's website.