10 Deaf YouTube Creators You Absolutely Need to Follow Right Now
In celebration of Deaf Awareness Month, we’re spotlighting 10 talented d/Deaf creators making waves in the YouTube space. Covering topics ranging from vintage fashion and hip hop to ASL and accessibility—these creators are serving up a potpourri of must-watch content.
While mainstream perceptions of what it means to be deaf have shifted over time, not that long ago, members of this community (currently estimated around 446 million people) were seen as limited in their abilities and were often viewed as outsiders.
It’s taken a while, but attitudes have changed in recent years and the richness of Deaf culture is trickling into mainstream culture, urging society to finally abandon harmful stereotypes and misconceptions.
This shift in mindset is at least partially due to these activists and creators–and events like Deaf Awareness Month, which takes place the whole month of September.
If you’re looking to learn more about the Deaf community, spread awareness, or simply be entertained by quality content, we’ve rounded up some awesome names to get you started.
Kellgren-Fozard adds, “vintage lesbian fabulousness to a life with disabilities and chronic illness.” The 31-year-old is deaf, partially visually impaired, and suffers from an autoimmune disorder and a nerve disorder. The videos posted to Kellgren-Fozard’s “Jessica Out of the Closet” YouTube channel are fun, a little snarky but always informative.
More than 770,000 people subscribe to Kellgren-Fozard’s channel. She covers a range of topics from vintage fashion to disability and LGTBQ issues. Be sure to check out the video devoted to the history of queer coding and the one about disability in “The Sims” videogame. You can also find Kellgren-Fozard on her website, Instagram, and Twitter.
DEAFinitely Dope has a mission: to bring music, specifically hip hop, to the Deaf community. Dope is a group of people led by Matt Maxey. The 29-year-old Atlanta native started signing along to his favorite songs as a way to teach himself the language. Maxey’s YouTube channel is largely devoted to videos where he signs to different songs.
A little over 15,000 people follow DEAFintely Dope’s channel. Perhaps the coolest video is the one where Maxey teaches Chance the Rapper how to sign “Blessings 2.” The song is from the artist’s album “Coloring Book”. DEAFintely Dope also has a website and is active on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Rikki Poynter’s hearing loss diminished over time and intensified after she graduated from high school in 2009. Poynter’s YouTube career started as a response to autogenerated captioning that often misspelled words or got words wrong altogether. She began a campaign called #NoMoreCRAPtions to get people to improve the quality of their captions. The 28-year-old’s YouTube Channel is a mix of activism related to Deaf culture, mental health, and feminism.
Poynter’s channel has 91,000 subscribers. All of her videos are infused with wit and insight. To get a sense of her style, check out the video where she breaks down memes about deaf people and the one where she explores how facemasks make it hard for deaf people to communicate. You can also find more of Poynter’s material on her website, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Twitch.
High school sweethearts, Ryan and Ellen, started their channel in 2016. Ryan is deaf, Ellen is not. The videos they post showcase their life together. The pair have a good time with each other which makes for fun, lighthearted viewing.
Sign Duo has more than 660,000 subscribers. The couple has a deaf dog and one of the more endearing videos on their channel is about how they taught their pup sign language. You’ll also want to take a few minutes and watch when Ryan went through a drive-thru. Sign Duo has a website and can also be found on Facebook and Instagram.
San Francisco-based Jessica Flores is hilarious. This YouTuber has a big personality and isn’t afraid to let it out in her videos. Flores’ channel offers a comedic take on life as a deaf person. She talks about her own life but also gets into bigger issues.
About 17,000 people follow Flores’ channel. If you’re looking for a laugh, then watch the video where Flores pokes fun at the question of whether deaf people can drive. The emoji facial expression challenge is also good. You can find more of Flores’ work on her website as well as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
DiMarco is a little bit of everything. The 31-year-old is a model, actor, and activist. In 2016, he became the first deaf winner of “Dancing with the Stars”. His YouTube channel is a mix of cultural critique, personal stories, and sign language lessons.
More than 114,000 people subscribe to DiMarco’s channel. If you’re looking for something to blow your mind, then watch the video where he talks about the parallels between Harry Potter and the Deaf world. DiMarco has a website and is also on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Marshall’s YouTube channel “Chrissy Can’t Hear You” is a blend of opinion, personal stories, sign-alongs, and interviews. The 19-year-old clearly has fun making her videos and infuses each one with personality.
Roughly 16,000 people follow Marshall’s channel. One of the more intriguing videos is an interview Marshall does with her mother in which the two discuss raising a deaf child. The video about how to bedazzle a hearing aid is also a must-watch. Marshall can be found on Facebook and Tik Tok.
Clearbrook started her YouTube channel back in 2012. The YouTuber has a brother and sister who are also deaf. The tagline to Clearbrook’s channel is, “lifestyle, beauty, fashion.” Topics include things like makeovers, but there are also interviews and segments about growing up deaf.
More than 144,000 people subscribe to Clearbrook’s channel. If you’re looking for something serious then take a look at the video where Clearbrook and her friend describe their experience at Gallaudet University. If you’re in the mood for something lighter, then watch as Clearbrook and her brother try their best to make the other person laugh. Look for the 21-year-old on Instagram and Twitter.
Jasmine Whipps or “Jazzy” as she’s otherwise known hails from the United Kingdom. The 20-year-old’s YouTube channel covers just about everything from spending 24 hours as a vegetarian to more serious topics like addressing hurtful comments about the Deaf community.
Jazzy has 204,000 subscribers. One of the best videos on her channel is one where Jazzy’s mom goes deaf for a day to find out what life is like for her daughter. The younger Whipps is also on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Like Jazzy, KJ, or Kristy-Jade, is also from the United Kingdom. KJ’s channel is both funny, irreverent, and deeply personal. She is not one to shy away from difficult conversations and doesn’t mince words.
Kristy-Jade has about 2,000 followers. Be sure to check out her take on hearing actors who play deaf characters. The video about Deaf slang provides a look at Deaf culture that doesn’t get talked about. KJ also shares her insights on Instagram and Twitter.