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Easterseals Southern California (ESSC), has teamed with socially conscious lifestyle brand Rafi Nova, pioneer of the clear Smile Face Mask, to develop a Sensory-Friendly Mask, to benefit children and adults with autism and other disabilities or anyone who finds wearing a conventional mask uncomfortable.
- About one-in-54 children have been identified with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- About one in six children aged 3–17 years (17%) were diagnosed with a developmental disability as reported by parents, during a study period of 2009-2017. These included autism, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, blindness, and cerebral palsy, among others. The Autism Society
For individuals with autism and other sensory processing challenges or disabilities, mask-wearing can be difficult. A face covering introduces multiple new stimuli, including the fabric’s sensation, the pressure of tight elastic bands, and the heat and moisture from breath inside the mask.
Features of the Mask Include:
- Softness: 100% Mulberry silk lining reduces friction and adjustable jersey knit straps clasp behind the head instead of pinching the ears.
- Structured: Minimal design and limited seaming.
- Secure: Adjustable nose bridge ensures the perfect fit and decreases glasses fogging.
- Safe: Special construction lifts the mask off the mouth, and highly breathable cotton is used on the exterior.
- Durability: The mask has an antibacterial layer and is reusable and machine washable
- Ease: A clasp on the back ensures ease of putting on and removal. When not on the face, the mask may safely remain on the person and not be lost thanks to an extra strap feature that fastens it behind the neck.
- Social Story: Comes with a visual storytelling designed by therapists that helps children understand the mask-wearing necessity.
The Sensory-Friendly Mask retails for $14 (child sizes) and $16 (adults). Available in light blue, light pink, hunter green, black, and “Over the Moon” (kids sizes only).
“Masks must be comfortable and functional for everyone. It’s that simple,” said Rafi Nova CEO Marissa Goldstein. Earlier this year, the company pioneered transparent masks with their Smile Mask launch to restore visual cues to masked communication. In partnership with ESSC, the Sensory-Friendly Mask represents the next generation of the company’s inclusive face coverings designed to protect and reconnect communities.
About Rafi Nova
Rafi Nova is a socially conscious lifestyle brand on a mission to outfit families with products and accessories designed for everyday adventures while empowering them to connect, have fun and do more good in the world. Founded as a fair-trade fashion brand to equip adventurous families with sustainably made travel bags, the company shifted focus to face masks to solve the urgent needs of families and communities.
Stay Connected: #SensoryFriendlyMask
- Visit Rafi Nova – A portion of each purchase will be donated to Easterseals Southern California when you use code: ESSC