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Article excerpt from Summer 2021 Issue:

Wearing Masks for Assessment and Therapy: Is the Answer Clear?

Christina Luna
Private Practice Committee

The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly made us think about the ways we carry out therapy. We were flung into a world of teletherapy, social distancing, disinfection and having to wear masks. As speech-language pathologists and audiologists, we immediately had concerns about carrying out intervention under these conditions, especially in regard to the wearing of masks. In the current health emergency, use of teletherapy overcomes this hurdle. However, for many reasons, the use of telepractice is not feasible. Desktop-based clear plastic or acrylic shields have been installed in many places, reducing the need to wear masks. This is a great solution for our clients who can work effectively only at a desktop, but not effective for those who need to be on the floor or other locations for an optimal work environment. As a result, large numbers of clinicians and clients are required to cover their faces and wear masks during assessment and intervention.