“Now all students can follow the classes on equal terms.” Says the professor of the Marketing department of the Faculty of Economics of the University of Alicante (UA) Enar Ruiz while adjusting your “Inclusive mask” to begin teaching a “Product and Price Decisions” class. This “inclusive mask” is made in transparent vinyl so that hearing impaired students can read the teachers’ lips and easily understand explanations.
Since the mandatory use of the mask was implemented, the UA has tried to respond to the special needs that could arise through the Student Support Center (CAE). «The problem was that hUntil not long ago there were no approved masks designed for people with hearing difficulties. In the end, we found a company in San Vicente that could make them, but before distributing them we needed to make sure that they met all the safety requirements, ”explains the director of CAE, Pepi Parreño. Thus, the masks were sent to the UA Prevention Services, which produced a favorable report for their use. CAE contacted teachers who know they teach hearing impaired pupils and offered them the “inclusive mask.” The initiative has turned out to be a success and for a few days the teachers have been using and testing them to be able to transfer its pros and cons in order for the company to carry out the modifications deemed necessary. At the moment, the UA has bought a hundred of these “inclusive masks” with their filters that, depending on their use, they last between 24 and 72 hours. In addition, not only teachers may use them, they will also be provided to the administration and services staff that require them for the performance of their work.
“Until now, students with some hearing impairment who read lips in order to follow the classes had had to deal with the books, notes and materials that we are hanging on the servers. With this pandemic situation it is important that tLet’s all make things easier and do our bitSo this CAE initiative seems great to me, ”says Professor Enar Ruiz. “I teach in various groups of different degrees -ADE, DADE-TADE, Computer Engineering and ADE- and I know that I have students with these needs, so I am going to use the inclusive mask in all my classes.” His first appreciations are that with this mask it breathes even better than surgical and does not fog up. “They tell me that the voice is heard a little more metallic, but it is understood well both in the classroom and through the computer, according to the students,” says Ruiz.
Students without special hearing needs also highly value the initiative that helps their peers. In addition, with the current situation of dual teaching, some students do not know the face of their teacher because they have only seen him with the mask on and they also explain that “if you lose the sound for a moment in online teaching you find out what he is saying” . “The truth is that you hear well and see the gestures better,” they conclude.
Marzà sends more than a thousand translucent models to schools
The Health and Safety Institute finally issues a favorable report for its use
“We have started sending transparent masks to schools to better work with students who need hearing and language reinforcement.” The Minister of Education, Vicent Marzà, emphasizes that a «Barrier for teachers to communicate well with hearing and language students» before the mandatory use of masks.
The 245 centers with students with hearing loss and psychopedagogical services in the province of Alicante will receive 1,313 transparent masks, accompanied by its corresponding facial screen. In Castellón, 478 will be distributed in 96 centers, and in Valencia 261 centers will receive 1,667 masks; a total of more than 6,000 protective equipment for teachers in public and subsidized schools throughout the Community.
Transparent masks “They will allow the visualization of the movements of the mouth and facial muscles of the educational personnel, while acting as an element of sanitary protection”, they explain from Education. “Educational inclusion is fundamental and we have obtained the authorization of transparent masks so that teachers can use them in these cases and have a better communicative interaction with students with these characteristics,” the minister abounds.
They specify that after the initial difficulty in not having “transparent mask approved by the competent authorities” models, INVASSAT has finally issued a “favorable report” and the staff of the educational centers will finally be able to use it.
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