In our masked-up world, the cloth masks designed to protect us from the pandemic can make it hard to communicate. 

“Just seeing somebody’s face and the emotion or the real message behind the words,” says Jim Baumbick, Ford Motor Co.’s vice president of enterprise product management.  

“Many times the cloth masks muffle the speech and the sounds,” adds Darlene Zangara, executive director of the Minnesota Commission of the Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing (MNCDHH). “It’s harder to catch what people are saying.”   Amid the hubbub of daily life, there are special challenges for the deaf and hard of hearing community.