face coverings

face coverings

New Study Examines How Face Masks Affect Speech Recognition in Background Noise

Researchers at Villanova University found that in low levels of background noise (for the purposes of recognizing spoken sentences immediately after presentation), face masks have a small effect related to speech production without a mask, and some masks have no effect. In high levels of background noise, the effects of different mask types become more apparent.

Homemade cloth masks and N95 respirators had the largest impact on speech recognition while surgical masks had no effect.

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Samuel R. Atcherson photographed in a Clear Face Mask

More Speech Degradations and Considerations in the Search for Transparent Face Coverings During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Because of COVID-19 and broad mandates to wear face coverings, there are numerous local, state, and national conversations regarding communication access for individuals who are deaf and hard-of-hearing (DHH) in school, hospital, and public settings. Although there was an initial shortage and concerns about meeting global demands, we have witnessed, in a short period, rapid production of various types of masks and shields intended for use by either the public or health workers, including masks with clear (transparent) windows. 

Topic(s): COVID-19, face coverings, face shield, clinical care, Speech degradation, PPE, personal protective equipment