Thank you for your interest in our masks. We are continuously monitoring (as we know you are) the latest news and guidelines from the CDC as well as local, state and federal officials. As the 50 individual states begin to ease restrictions, and we all prepare for the safe return to work, Safe’N’Clear, Inc. wants to provide an update on the measures Safe’N’Clear, Inc. is taking to support you.
Product availability during all-time high demand
EACH customer is important to us. We are working with our manufacturing partner to replenish mask inventories and to work with new customers who now find themselves needing mask protection.
Even with our increased production, we are not able to meet every order immediately. To help with this situation, we are:
Working closely with our manufacturing partners to secure additional production
Limiting the order quantity of masks so we can fulfill more customer orders and work to match supply and demand, one step at a time
Our teams are working around the clock to closely monitoring the wait list, back orders, and working to add new customer account information. Since COVID-19 pandemic our customers will note quantity limits or backorder status. Our team is aware of the dire situation and the skyrocketing increased in demand use and limited production facilities in USA is making the global mask supply/demand dynamic very challenging.
Delivery Order Safety
Our team is taking precautionary measures at all points in the delivery process to ensure you get your correct mask order; we are striving to meet deadlines of when you need them by as best as we can. We cannot meet all customers’ deadlines; no one in the mask industry is, unfortunately. More than 90% of masks were made overseas before COVID-19; more hospitals are now requesting US made products which takes time to shift mass production. The US Government has priority over private companies like Safe’N’Clear to get masks produced.
Please pay careful attention to the mailing/shipping address you enter on the order to ensure there are no errors that could delay or cause your order not to ship.
Once your order has shipped, you will receive email notification with tracking information.
Our team members are working tirelessly; please make sure you do not order masks, if you do not intend to take delivery. Due to the increased duties of managing wait lists, adding new customers, and managing current order/shipping, we cannot process refunds at this time. All sales, during pandemic crisis are final. We are prioritizing hospitals, children’s hospitals, and front line medical workers to make sure they have the proper PPE.
Safe’N’Clear hates to raise prices. We assure you that our policy not to raise prices on during health crises. We have removed all sales and discounts at this time; but, we have not raised our prices. If our costs increase, we will have to raise our prices but right now, we are committed to the current pricing. We will work hard to keep our prices stabilized. Communicator surgical face masks with clear windows are not cheap to produce; the clear window is a feature that incurs costs that conventional masks do not incur (clear window film, anti-fogging agent, welding process, etc).
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has been difficult for individuals, families, companies, hospitals, and our entire society in many ways. As we go forward, know that we will continue to update our customers as the changing situation requires to keep you well informed. We encourage you to connect with our social media to get the latest information.
Letters of Commitment
If you are hospitals and medical facilities, long-term care facilities, educational institutes, those working with the deaf/hard-of-hearing, or another entity and you believe you will be needing to use masks for the next five or so years, please consider writing a letter of commitment and sending to me detailing how the Communicator masks is a better alternative for your customers/clients/patients than conventional masks. You can send these letters on your organization’s letterhead to Anne.McIntosh@SafeNClear.com; if we are able to show that we have an increased need for Communicator masks that extends beyond the coronavirus pandemic, we can position Safe’N’Clear to get additional production equipment that makes Communicator masks. We are the world’s first FDA approved Surgical facemask with clear window and currently, we are the only FDA approved transparent facemask on the market. We know you are depending on us; and, we need to depend on you.
Staying Connected for Latest News Development
We invite all customers to connect with us on social media to stay current with the latest news developments. If you have a picture where we can see your smile and you are hard at work, please post your photos on Instagram and tag us at @safenclear and use the hashtags #safenclear and #SeeYourSmile.
Since President Trump declared a national emergency due to the COVID-19 outbreak over a month ago, I have communicated in person with only one individual outside my home: the pharmacist who handed me my prescription from the drive-through window.
Only I couldn’t really communicate with the pharmacist, because I am deaf and couldn’t read their lips through the opaque white surgical mask. Still, after a laborious exchange in which I used gestures and the little residual hearing I have, I valiantly left with what I came for.
While the outbreak has upended life for everyone, deaf and hard of hearing individuals like me have encountered significant barriers to communication during this crisis. This should come as no surprise, since research shows that deaf and hard of hearing people in the United States are largely underserved during emergencies. It’s deplorable, though: 48 million Americans are deaf and hard of hearing, and several federal laws mandate our protection during emergencies — but everyone keeps forgetting we exist. It’s time for this country to establish a comprehensive set of national guidelines that enable state and local governments to provide access to emergency services for deaf and hard of hearing people before, during, and after a crisis.
For one, inaccessible face masks shouldn’t be the standard. They hinder speechreading and present barriers for deaf and hard of hearing individuals who use American Sign Language (ASL) or Cued American English via Cued Speech (CS), a visual mode of communication that disambiguates speechreading. ASL grammar is displayed on the face, while CS uses handshapes, placements, and mouth movements. Both require facial expression to supply meaning and tone that would otherwise be conveyed through speech, which inaccessible masks hide.
Clear masks could make everyone happier in the long run. Safe’N’Clear founder and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Anne McIntosh told Business Insider that, while the “The Communicator” mask does benefit people who are deaf and hard of hearing, her invention helps everyone communicate more effectively.
“The human smile is such a NECESSARY part of our ability to connect with others, especially when social distancing says we cannot hug, shake hands, kiss, or wrap our arms around another person’s shoulder,” she wrote in an email. “As social beings, we need to feel ‘connected’ and ‘in relationships’ with others and the smile is our way to communicate ‘community’ to others.”
In addition to making it harder for millions of deaf Americans to communicate, opaque masks are harming their mental health. Several deaf individuals have told me that the prevalence of masks triggers significant anxiety, to the point where they avoid leaving their homes altogether for essential activities, such as grocery shopping.
“I’ve had my husband do all the shopping and errands for us,” said Courtney Poole, a deaf home health care manager in Locust, North Carolina, “mainly due to my fear of not being able to talk to or understand anyone wearing masks and standing far away. Basically, I don’t want to deal with it.”
The barriers transcend face masks: As confirmed cases of the coronavirus overwhelm hospitals, deaf and hard of hearing patients are reporting inadequate accommodations in hospital settings.
For example, many medical professionals are treating patients from behind a barrier and not allowing in-person interpreters. On April 16, The Los Angeles Times reported that Jennylee Bruno, a deaf author and mother of five, received an American Sign Language interpreter over video conferencing software, but the feed froze multiple times while Bruno received her feared diagnosis of COVID-19, heightening her anxiety.
“I feel like they were giving me a death sentence,” she told the Times. “I wanted to ask, am I going to die, what can we do, is there a cure, what about medications, what’s the plan?”
Sandi Sinnott, a deaf Navy retiree in Havelock, North Carolina, shared a similarly horrifying story. She told Business Insider that she went to the local emergency room in March for a “simple CT scan” for pneumonia and ended up hospitalized for a week with only choppy video access to a remote interpreter. She said that she was not told why she was admitted, adding, “I believe they said as little as possible because of communication barriers.”
Sinnott also said that she was not initially tested for COVID-19, because she didn’t have a fever; however, she later received a test that came back negative.
Deaf and hard of hearing individuals are also reporting unsatisfactory access to information about the outbreak.
“Many government press briefings were not accessible to deaf and hard of hearing people, and to address this issue, we have been focused on advocating for American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters and accurate captioning in all broadcasts of such emergency briefings,” said the National Association of the Deaf’s Chief Executive Officer Howard Rosenblum. “We have received many complaints from deaf and hard of hearing people unable to understand from the briefings what they are supposed to do or avoid to stay safe and healthy, and we have given them tools to advocate for their communication access.”
Rosenblum explained that while live national broadcasts must provide captioning under federal law, live news broadcasts from local new stations aren’t required to provide captioning and are “only live captioned in the top 25 markets.” Those that do provide captioning are “usually” not accurate, he said, “as most of them recycle the teleprompter script as captioning, and that does not include breaking news which is what most emergency broadcasts entail.”
Calls for social distancing have also affected deaf and hard of hearing people in many other areas, including in K-12 education, universities, workplaces, and courtrooms. While teleconferencing platforms enable many people to continue learning and working from home, many don’t know that auto-captioning through these platforms is often unreliable and riddled with errors, which makes it all the more important that those in positions of power employ truly inclusive measures informed by the realities faced by the deaf community.
To address these problems, the NAD is urging all government agencies to implement the recommendations detailed in their emergency communication position statement, and for hospitals to utilize their guidelines. The NAD and other advocates have also created a guide for deaf and hard of hearing individuals who may need to visit the hospital.
Experts and resources on disability-inclusive emergency management abound. It’s time to use them before it’s too late.
by Dr. Anne McIntosh – Safe’N’Clear, Inc. Founder & CEO.
Our family started with the birth of their daughter. On a Friday evening, my amniotic sac broke; my husband and I checked into a large hospital in Charlotte expecting a normal delivery after a non-eventful 9-month pregnancy with regular prenatal visits. After more than 25 hours of labor, I was well-aware that my risk factors for infection were now increased. I informed the nurse on duty that my water broke more than 25 hours ago (the staff work on 8-hour shifts). The nurse notified the attending OB/GYN physician and the doctor determined a C-section was needed. I was taken to the OR and prepped for C-section. All personnel in the OR were garbed in surgical scrubs from head to toe, including facemasks — I could no longer read their lips and understand what they were saying to each other or to me. A white drape was placed between the OB/GYN and me so I could see nothing and could not piece together what was happening. On top of being tired, hungry, excited, and anxious, I had a hard time following verbal requests from health providers because I could not read their lips. Yes, my husband was there but he, too, was garbed in surgical scrubs and a face mask. In order to deal with what was going on and to keep my own sanity and blood pressure within reason, I made the executive decision to “shut down” and turned all decision-making and answering questions tasks to my husband in hopes that between him and the medical providers, they had the information they needed and everything would turn out all right. In a matter of minutes, I went from being a “doctor with a PhD who could communicate and articulate well” to a numbed, tired, fatigued patient who was counting on mercies and miracles all the way. Prayers were answered. All ended well… but I recognized how close this childbirth came to possibly not having a happy ending. Realizing that many people with hearing loss have experienced similar frightening situations or may face such a situation, I knew there was a better way and I had to find a solution. I spoke with my brother, an attorney, and described the situation (minus a few childbirth details) and told him how the problem could be resolved with a TRANSPARENT mask. And, here we are… an FDA approved ASTM-Level 1 surgical face mask with a clear window manufactured in the USA.