Cloth face coverings and distancing pose communication challenges for many
A message from NIDCD Director Debara L. Tucci
NIDCD Director Debara L. Tucci, M.D., M.S., M.B.A., wears a clear face mask.
Communication is an important and complex transaction that depends on visual and, often, auditory cues. Factors that influence how well our spoken language is received include our eye contact and body language, whether we stand or sit while speaking, the tone of our voices and our facial expressions, and environmental lighting and background noise. Individuals with hearing problems (and even those with normal hearing) may also pay close attention to a speaker’s mouth—known as lip-reading or speech-reading—to follow conversational speech. Face coverings and physical distancing during the coronavirus pandemic may complicate communication for those who have trouble hearing.