February 28, 2020
Deafwearables - Part of our Highlighting Innovators series: Celebrating those who make a difference in our community.
ADCO takes great pride in highlighting the innovators in the hearing and audiology space from companies large to entrepreneurs like Ashlei Powell.
Ashlei’s company, Deafwearables (found on both Facebook and Instagram) brings awareness, in fashionable and safe ways, for not only the deaf but also the hard of hearing. Ashlei company got started due to need. In her words “Deafwearables products contains a lot of items, such as: seatbelt covers, water resistant temporary tattoos, shirts, headbands, patches, etc.. In Ashlei words “: I’ve been deaf my whole life (since 1989). Throughout my life, my mom tried hard to spread awareness and put it on my body or clothing. For example, when I was in high school, we went skiing and my mom got a huge reflective vest and wrote the word DEAF on it with a sharpie. It was so embarrassing but yet at the same time helpful. In summer 2017, my hubby and I joined Tough Mudder and I knew I had to take my Cochlear Implants off to go thru mud and a lot of aggressive courses that I knew my CIs would fly off. I looked everywhere online to see if there were any water-resistant temporary tattoos that had the word DEAF on it or a patch or anything else. I could not find one single thing and I was very frustrated. I wanted to turn my frustration into something I could do to help the deaf and hard of hearing community by creating products they could wear to bring awareness to help bring safety (seatbelt strap covers, reflective vests, headbands, temporary tattoos, shirts, etc)."
Ashlei wanted those that are deaf or experience hearing loss to feel peace as they go about their daily lives. “I know my parents struggled to find a sense of relief or peace knowing that I was safe and others understood of my deafness. I don't want parents or recipients to struggle as much me and my parents did.”
When asked what Ashlei was most proud of she answered “Lots of things. I’m very proud of my parents for having the patient and the initiative to help me hear and speak. I’m also proud of my husband for being so supportive and being so patient with me. He is an answer to me and my parent’s prayers. Lastly, I’m proud of myself for trying to get out of my comfort zone and think outside the box to help not only myself, but so many others. I’m so used to having my parents help, but now it’s my turn and I’m excited to see what I can do to help the best I can.”
Want to learn more? Find them on Facebook @Deafwearables