Muscatine School District supplies clear masks for deaf and hard of hearing

Published: Sep. 9, 2020 at 6:50 PM CDT
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Six-year-old Ryker Doy contracted meningitis at just seven months old. The infection took his hearing.

He got cochlear implants at a year and a half. He relies on them and lip reading to communicate.

Now he’s heading back into the classroom where masks are required.

“When we found out masks were going to be required that was one of our biggest concerns. I immediately reached out to the schools to see if they were going to provide the masks with the clear opening for him because he does rely a lot of lip reading,” says Ryker’s mother, Stephanie Doy.

“If we just to the grocery store I am constantly pulling my mask down so he can see my mouth so I knew it would be a struggle in the classroom and for his teacher to be able to communicate with him,” she says.

After expressing concerns and advocating for both her own son and others with similar challenges, the school agreed to provide the clear masks.

“So the district pulled through and provided them for all the kids in his class and all the deaf and hard of hearing kids across the district for their peers and for their teachers,” Stephanie says.

All teachers, students, and peers in Ryker’s classroom will be supplied with the special masks. It will ensure he and other deaf or hard of hearing students will be able to communicate like normal.

“They had talks about students in the classroom that are different or have different needs and she (the teacher) was like ‘I don’t think he considers himself different’ and we said ‘Well he shouldn’t - he’s just like his peers’”.

If you have a child who is deaf or hard of hearing, the resources below may help.

Muscatine County Parent Group for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students

Quad Cities Deaf Club

Quad Cities Families with Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children

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