Mandatory mask wearing saw more than 90% of deaf people struggle to communicate during the pandemic, University of Essex research has revealed.
It also discovered that 76% missed vital information and 59% felt disconnected from society due to the face coverings.
This is because masks restrict the ability to read lips and judge expressions.
It also emerged that over-55s who became deaf later in life found communication using masks more challenging.
And profoundly deaf people and signers experienced more disconnection from society and negative effects on their wellbeing.
Dr Eva Gutierrez-Sigut, from the Department of Psychology, led a team of deaf and hearing researchers who made sure that the survey was accessible in different sign languages.
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