Josie Gibson reveals she and her deaf brother were turned away from three restaurants as he can’t wear face mask

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Josie Gibson has opened up on how she and her deaf brother were refused entry from three restaurants as they were not able to wear face masks.

The 35 year old revealed how her brother, Harry, relies on lip reading his Big Brother winner sister in order to communicate.

But the TV favourite emotionally told how they were turned away from three separate establishments and left outside in the pouring rain after explaining they could not wear face coverings.

Speaking to Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford on Thursday's This Morning, Josie said: "We are so privileged to still be able to communicate even when we wear a face mask, but imagine going into a shop and being totally cut off from everybody in that shop?

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"[People with hearing difficulties] not only use lip reading to communicate but they use this whole bottom part [of their face] as expression, so they don't know when people are trying to talk to them or when people are trying to get their attention.

"They don't know how people are feeling, they would not know the emotion of that person because they are so cut off from that person.

"We are told to wear masks and save lives, but we have forgotten about this community where these masks are making their lives a living hell."

Discussing their disastrous recent day out, Josie continued: "We went to a restaurant the other day and we kept our distance from the guy that was sitting us down, and I was just about to explain that we haven't got masks on because you're going to tell me what's going on and I'm going to tell my brother what's going on, because he lip reads from me.

"And they said, 'Well, you've not got masks on, you're going to have to get outside'. I had got the kids with us, it was raining outside.

"We thought 'Don't worry, we'll go somewhere else', and we went to three places and by the end of it, I was absolutely drained and that was me, imagine what my brother was feeling?

"Going out and about with their daily lives [he and his wife] even when they take their kids to school, they can't even have a conversation with the other mums, they don't know what the person is saying at the check out till in shops, they have no form of communication and these people — the deaf community — have been forgotten about during this pandemic."

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Josie's brother, Harry, and Josie and his wife joined by video link, speaking in sign language as Josie relayed their comments.

They said: "Masks are impacting our life because we can't communicate with other people. I have to take down my mask and remind people that I am deaf and that I need to lip read.

"Sometimes they refuse to take their mask down and that's frustrating for us, and we just have to get on with it but we shouldn't have to.

"It's hard to go out and do things, for example I have to wear a mask to drop my girls off to school and it feels lonely not to be able to have a chat with other mums because we all have to wear masks.

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"Going to the shop I don't understand staff because they are wearing masks and I can't tell if they are talking to me. We rely on signing and lip reading, and so it's difficult for us, we are fed up having to explain ourselves why we aren't wearing masks and having to explain that we are deaf, and having to explain we are lip reading."

Josie concluded: "I'm so proud of my brother and his wife for that because they were so nervous doing that… and I really do think the deaf community have been quite forgotten about during this pandemic, and they've just given them a voice so I could not be prouder."

This Morning airs weekdays at 10am on ITV.

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