THOUSAND OAKS (CBSLA) — With so many people wearing face masks to help prevent the spread of coronavirus, people who are hard of hearing are being left in the dark because they are unable to read people’s lips.

So Thousand Oaks teen Isabella Appell came up with a solution — face masks with a clear, vinyl panel that will show the wearer’s mouths.

(credit: Isabella Appell)

“People who are hard of hearing or deaf rely on lip reading to communicate, so with this clear window, it allows them to do so,” Isabella says.

Her idea has gotten an incredible response, and she says she has gotten hundreds of emails, a slew of new orders and raised money for the Hearing Aid Project.

The masks come in handy for people like a pregnant woman who told Isabella she is about to give birth in June, and she was scared at thought of being in a room full of doctors and nurses in face masks, and not knowing what is happening because she cannot read their lips.

The email was “really cool,” Isabella said.

Isabella is accepting donations of fabric, clear vinyl and elastic. She is also accepting donations to the Hearing Aid Project, which is assisting her in creating these masks.

To help or donate, go to