Gallaudet University helped Apple pick an accessible face mask for its employees - Technical.ly DC

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Sep. 18, 2020 3:46 pm

Gallaudet University helped Apple pick an accessible face mask for its employees

While the tech brand is creating its own face mask in-house, Apple will also begin distributing masks from Baltimore-based ClearMask to its corporate and retail employees.
Baltimore-based ClearMask is helping make communication more accessible.

Baltimore-based ClearMask is helping make communication more accessible.

(Photo via @the_clearmask on Twitter)

Gallaudet University worked behind the scenes with Apple to help the tech giant choose an accessible face mask to distribute to its corporate and retail employees.

The D.C. university is a higher education institution focused on the advancement of deaf and hard of hearing individuals through American Sign Language (ASL) and English programs. While Apple’s engineering and industrial design teams are creating an Apple Face Mask in house, the tech brand will also distribute transparent masks manufactured by Baltimore-based ClearMask, Bloomberg reports.

The Apple Face Mask is comprised of three layers of filters and is washable for reuse up to five times. ClearMask’s FDA-approved, completely transparent masks shows the full face which allows for better and more accessible communication. Per Bloomberg, the masks were tested with employees in three Apple stores before a final decision to distribute was made.

This news comes after ClearMask announced that it inked a deal with the United Kingdom’s department of health and social care for 250,000 masks for frontline workers in the National Health Service and social care providers, Technical.ly Baltimore reported.

This isn’t the first collaboration between Gallaudet and Apple. The pair recently announced a long-term partnership to open more doors for Gallaudet students and other deaf and hard of hearing individuals. One of the tech opportunities coming out of this opportunity includes students being able to design bilingual apps in ASL and English.

This is not all the university is doing to fight for more accessibility. Gallaudet recently partnered with McLean, Virginia-based speech tech provider AppTek to develop an application designed to enable a better videoconferencing experience for the deaf and hard of hearing community.

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