The mandatory introduction of masks in Victoria has caused a lot of stress among Albury-Wodonga's deaf community who are calling on residents to be considerate if they are asked to remove their masks.
Amanda Harrison of Wodonga is profoundly deaf and said masks were a barrier to communication for many people who rely on lip reading.
"[Lipreading is] very important as most deaf or hearing impaired people need to use every communication tool available to them (lipreading, facial expressions) to understand a conversation," she said.
"I understand why we need to wear them, but it takes away a form of communication for the deaf and hard of hearing."
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Miss Harrison is concerned about how people might react to being asked to remove their masks.
She said even before the introduction of masks, people had rolled their eyes, sighed loudly, shouted at her or talked to her like she was stupid when she tried to communicate.
"I'm a bit worried some people may take offence and refuse [to remove their mask]," she said.
"It makes me disappointed that so many people aren't educated about the deaf community because it is not as uncommon as you may think."
Just because we are deaf or hearing impaired doesn't mean we should be treated badly for asking for the masks to be removed...Amanda Harrison
The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services specifies that people who are deaf or hearing impaired do not have to wear masks when seeing the mouth in necessary for communication.
The department also specifies people can legally remove their mask if communicating with someone who is deaf or hearing impaired.
Newsreaders and politicians do not need to wear masks during speeches to allow people to lip read.
Miss Harrison suggested if people were uncomfortable removing their masks they could consider writing notes to the person asking them.
"[People] need to know we are not trying to be rude when we ask," she said.
"If they don't want to remove it, maybe use paper or pen or a phone to write.
"Remember that we are all human and should be treated with respect. Just because we are deaf or hearing impaired doesn't mean we should be treated badly for asking for the masks to be removed to make it easier for us to communicate."