The Story Behind Our Smile Mask
Did you know that communication relies on both verbal and non-verbal language? Facial expressions, micro gestures, and intonation are critical to be understood, but traditional masks eliminate those essential cues.
People that are hearing impaired or deaf make up 5% of the world’s population, and have unfortunately been greatly impacted by face mask mandates across the world. Rafi Nova believes that everyone should be understood and protected, so we created the Smile Mask. Our goal is to help you properly mask your face, but not your smile!
Our founders, Adam and Marissa Goldstein, partnered with Olivia Gampel, a talented speech-language pathology clinical fellow, to design the best possible mask for populations that rely on non-verbal language. To do so, we added a clear panel to our face masks to make the wearer’s mouth visible. For those with ear hearing aids or cochlear implants, we can add an “extender” that attaches to the ear loops and allows you to comfortably wear the mask. Lastly, we pair our Smile Masks with an FDA approved anti-fog spray, so the plastic section will never fog up and your smile will always be seen!
While we originally designed the Smile Mask with the hearing impaired and deaf populations in mind, we have found that everyone will truly benefit from this mask. All people want to be seen (as well as heard). Doctors, teachers, servers, and so many others rely on emotion and facial expressions to communicate and connect.
As of June 2020, we are looking for people who rely on non-verbal communication to be understood (either for professional or personal reasons) to test our Smile Mask prototype and provide feedback. We want to make our Smile Mask the best mask possible, so our hearing impaired and deaf population will no longer feel ostracized by the face mask mandate.
If you would like to test our Smile Mask and provide feedback, visit www.thesmilefacemask.com.