Adele Dey with some of the Covid-19 masks aimed at assisting people with hearing difficulties. Photo: Roelof de Jonge

A Tzaneen local has come up with an ingenious solution to one of the most frustrating aspects of wearing a mask whenever you’re in public – difficulty hearing people speak to you.

This is especially true in noisy environments such as malls and shopping centres, and doubly so when you are a hearing-impaired person relying on lip reading to follow a conversation.

Adele Dey, a longtime resident and hearing impaired herself, devised a brilliant solution. With the help of husband, Rodney, who is a very well-known artist in the region, the Dey’s designed and painted masks with bold messages on the front to inform passersby of the wearer’s impediment.

“The masks will be exclusively available from Tzaneen Hearing and Speech Centre. Currently, there will only be two different washable mask variants available, costing R30 and R50 respectively. I have disposable masks also in the pipeline, I am just waiting for stock to arrive”, said Dey.

Though the project is still in its infancy, Dey has already received orders from as far as Gauteng and her plan is to expand even further than that. She will be reinvesting the money from the sales of the initial stock, to purchase and produce more of these helpful masks.

“It is more than just a business to me, obviously it helps as a supplementary income, but the real help is actually
making life a little easier for those who struggle with the same challenges that I face daily.”

Dey also thanked the following people and businesses for their devoted support of this project. They are Jan Cilliers, Dr Ig van Rensburg, Hettie van Nikkelen Kuyper, Anne Botes, Letaba Locksmiths, Northern Personnel, Du Paint, Ishmail from Magic Build, Hannelie van Niekerk from Sugar Hill and Dey’s son, Peter Reed.

“I also want to thank my dear husband, Rodney, for all his encouragement and support.”