Thank you for printing F. Neil Brady’s comments on the challenges the hearing impaired have in understanding speech when others wear a mask. Hearing loss is in itself a painful disability. We hear parts of words, but not all of the words. Our reliance on visual cues is hugely helpful as we struggle to piece together what others are saying. And yes, this is even with hearing aids. Hearing aids are not like glasses that have one prescribed formula. Hearing aids are always shifting the parameters of sound to help the hearing-impaired individual understand what is being said despite their disability.

There are see-through reusable masks that are available. Unfortunately, only the hearing impaired seem to be aware of them.

For myself, I keep it simple. I say, “I’m deaf. I have absolutely no idea what you are saying unless you pull down your mask.” I also have a tattoo on my arm that says, “Deaf Girl.” As with all disabilities, you must be your own advocate. For those of you with normal hearing, think of it this way: If we can see you, we can hear you.

Suzanne Picerno, Bedford, Ind.