One important topic within the disability community is the concept of “self-advocacy”. Self-advocacy allows disabled people to represent themselves–their interests, needs, and experiences. As advocates and allies of disabled individuals, listening to them is one of the best things we can do. Below is a list of amazing disabled YouTubers and self-advocates with a wide range of disabilities, from autism to deafness to blindness and more. For disabled individuals, these YouTubers may also offer a sense of camaraderie, empathy, community, and support.
Jessica Kellgren-Fozard is a deaf and chronically ill British YouTuber with a flair for vintage fashion. Her videos span a variety of topics, including her disabilities, fashion, travel, and daily life with her family, which consists of her wife and two pet dogs. She blew up in 2017 after posting “Why I Don’t Sound Deaf // International Week of the Deaf [CC]”. Her educational videos in conjunction with her charming sense of style and warmth helped to attract over 200,000 followers.
Molly Burke was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa at four years old and lost most her vision as a teenager. She is possibly one of the most well-known disabled creators on the platform, with over 600k subscribers. Her videos are often educational in nature and many feature collaborations with famous YouTubers, such as Kandee Johnson and Casey Neistat. Most recently, she collaborated with YouTube powerhouse Shane Dawson and offered him insight into what it is like living as a blind person. In addition to being a YouTube creator, she participates in many public speaking events to educate others about blindness.
Martina Stawski | Simon and Martina
Simon & Martina is a popular YouTube that has garnered over 1 million subscribers. While the channel is primarily focused on exploring Japanese culture, Martina has opened up about her experiences with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome in several videos, explaining the symptoms, how EDS affects her mental health, and how she deals with the pain. One of the most poignant videos she has made is “How I Deal With Chronic Pain” where she explains the concept of “building a latter” out of depression.
Annika Victoria is a crafty DIY Australian YouTube creator who describes herself as “an amateur seamster and aspiring scientist” in the description of her channel. The focus of videos is more often than not fashion, thrifting, crafting, and creating her own clothing, but she does not shy away from discussionns about her chronic illness, Tayakasu’s arteritis. Her video “Get Ready with Me, Disability Edition | What is Normality, Anyway?” reached over 200,000 viewers and provided insight into what her daily routine is like as adisabled person. With over 600,000 subscribers, she’s able to reach and educate a huge number of people.
Chronically Jacquie is an American YouTuber with over eight chronic illnesses and invisible disabilities. She describes the goal of her channel as being to spread awareness and destroy stigma surrounding disabilities. She posts educational and insightful videos daily about a wide range of relevant topics, including service dogs, day-to-day life, and each of her diagnoses, which include, but are not limited to, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Mast Cell Activation Disorder, narcolepsy, and migraines
Tommy Edison | The Tommy Edison Experience
Tommy Edison was jovial American YouTuber who has been blind since birth. Sadly, his YouTube channel became inactive in mid-December 2017, but people can still view his older videos on his channel. He was well known for answering questions relating to blindness sent to him by curious viewers. In addition to these Q&A type videos, he frequently did blind challenge videos. He educated a lot of people in a humorous, kind, and personal way.
Drew Lynch is a comedian who, with his trusty service dog Stella right by his side, posts funny and candid videos to YouTube about day-to-day life and experiences with a disability. Lynch developed a stutter when he was hit in the throat with a softball and got a concussion, but has since appeared on America’s Got Talent, Conan, and is another one of the best known disabled YouTubers.
This is not an exhaustive list of all the amazing disabled YouTubers, but for anyone looking to support and learn more from disabled creators, this is an amazing place to start!