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Woman crafting 'communicator masks' for deaf and hard of hearing

Posted at 6:01 PM, Apr 09, 2020

MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. — A nurse at Woodland Hospice has been busy creating masks that facilitate lip reading.

Sarah Bloomfield is making "communicator masks" to help a co-worker who is hearing impaired.

"My boss ordered some of the communicator masks, we don’t know when they’re arriving and so my supervisor texted me, she knew I had been sewing masks, and asked me if I could make some with windows before my coworker’s next shift" Bloomfield told FOX 17. "I wanted my coworker to be able to keep working. She’s a great nurse, we need her at work, I didn’t want her to be put on home leave when she’s healthy and perfectly capable of working. I also have friends and acquaintances that are deaf or hard of hearing, so I stopped to think about how this was impacting their ability to communicate".

Bloomfield has made about 15 of the masks so far. Previously, she'd been sewing traditional masks to help during the pandemic.

"All of the other masks that I’ve made you can mass produce very quickly, these take multiple steps in order to sew in the plastic window and I’m making them durable enough to be washed in the sanitizer cycle in the healthcare field".

The masks have been dropped off at Bloomfield's place of work. She also planned to distribute some in Big Rapids and to Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services in West Michigan.

"Every little bit helps and even if I can’t make a huge amount, it will make a difference to the people who get them,” she said.

Bloomfield now working on a pattern that she can share with others who would also like to make the special masks.