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A quiet sanctuary where creativity speaks the loudest

By He Qi in Shanghai | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2021-03-03 12:47

While wearing a mask in this new norm might pose just a slight inconvenience to most people, this new practice has inadvertently created another hurdle for hearing impaired people like Cai Zhengjun, who runs a design studio in Shanghai that helps imbue self-confidence in their hearing-impaired staff while honing their creative skills.

"Shanghai is a fast-paced city and many locals speak so quickly that it's rather difficult to read their lips," he quipped.

"The epidemic has made the situation even worse. Now, with people wearing masks, we can't even see their lips."

Cai lost his hearing when he was just 18 months old, the result of a high fever and an allergic reaction to the penicillin which was prescribed to him. Having lived most of his life in near complete silence, the 35-year-old is well aware of the emotional baggage that comes with this condition.

He recalls having suffered from self-esteem issues when he was a child, and how attempting to communicate with others became a daunting affair.

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