American Sign Language (ASL) is used by 250,000-500,00 people in the U.S. and Canada. These ASL influencers understand that accessibility and communication are key for the deaf and hard of hearing community and work to create fun, entertaining, and educational ASL-enriched content. Others share their lives and achievements, inspiring their followers along the way.
12 deaf and hard of hearing influencers to follow
Michigan-born Ashley, who is deaf, is a former professional motocross racer and current stunt actor. Her athletic achievements include being a four-time AMA women’s motocross national champion. She has 62.2K Instagram followers and loves living life to the fullest, whether that means getting down and dirty on the off-road race track, going on a hike with her precious pup, or sharing her top product picks and deals.
Ashley Clark aka signedwithheart
Ashley loves teaching others an “easy and fun” approach to learning American Sign Language. She is a mid-tier influencer on Instagram who shares quick lessons for engaging conversationally by demonstrating how to check in with each other, building on vocabulary with fingerspelling, and even tips for baby caretaking using ASL.
Lauren is a deaf American actress best known for her roles on TV’s “The Walking Dead” and as deaf superhero “Makkari” in the 2021 movie “Eternals.” This Instagram influencer wows her followers while getting glam for the red carpet, suggesting transcribing tools, and sharing sweet pictures with her husband. She also stars in the 2022 Instagram film “Charlie and the Hunt,” a story about a young deaf girl facing her fears in order to recover a lost family treasure.
Marlee is an Oscar award-winning actress, wife, and mom of four. Marlee was the first deaf Academy Award recipient, which she won for Best Actress in 1986’s “Children of a Lesser God.” She stays busy by visiting the White House, sharing her recent accomplishments, and giving fans the scoop on her latest movie news. Marlee stars in 2021’s “CODA” (Child of Deaf Adults), which swept this year’s Oscars with its powerful story.
In 2020, Scarlet launched her hilarious “Deaf Kardashians” series, in which she reenacts scenes from the famous reality show with “sassy” sign language. Scarlet keeps her 5.8 million TikTok followers entertained and educated by speaking out about the importance of closed captioning on social media. She uses her sense of humor to explain common misconceptions, sings and signs her favorite songs, and lets her followers help choose her outfit of the day.
Chrissy is a deaf writer and director who was born with a worsening hearing loss that progressed over time. Chrissy has 1.2 million TikTok followers, for whom she sheds light on topics like how deaf people can make TikToks, the importance of respecting those with disabilities, and her inspirational journey growing up with a disability. Chrissy always has a sense of humor while schooling those outside the deaf community on what it’s like.
Nakia Charmay Smith aka itscharmay
Nakia shares her experiences as a deaf mother with a keen sense of humor. She shares and communicates with Black American Sign Language (BASL) on her popular TikTok videos. Nakia is a mid-tier influencer who answers her followers’ most burning questions (like how she knows when her baby’s crying) and promotes the 2022 film “Charlie and the Hunt,” which she produced. The film follows a young deaf girl off on a whimsical adventure.
Jessica is a deaf British influencer. Jessica, whose retro style is a throwback to simpler times, posts about topics ranging from parenting advice, baking, and home decor to sign language tutorials and positive affirmations encouraging her subscribers to embrace what makes them unique. She is a premium influencer on YouTube with 909K subscribers.
Katie is an actress, producer, and Colorado native. Katie isn’t deaf but has a rare inner-ear condition that can affect a person’s hearing and sense of balance. Katie has appeared on TV’s “Veronica Mars,” “The Big Bang Theory,” and most recently, “Switched at Birth.” Her followers are treated to a front-row seat as she spends sweet moments with her adorable adopted dog, takes in a film festival, and promotes her projects featuring ASL.
Fanni is a deaf Hungarian model, author, and influencer. Fanni’s 236K Instagram followers scroll through her posts for more than just glam shots — Fanni promotes her book, shares her favorite hair care products, and posts behind-the-scenes shots from her photoshoots. Fanni also gives a glimpse into her artistic talents and her go-to online grocery shopping tips.
Cheyenna describes herself as “a deaf YouTuber who loves lurking in the creative world.” She is a mid-tier influencer who uses ASL to share her Halloween costume looks, makeup tutorials, and her latest fashion hauls with her followers. Cheyenna also appeared on the 2020 Netflix reality series “Deaf U,” which was the first reality show to focus solely on those who are deaf or hard of hearing.
Rikki is a writer who promotes accessibility, disability awareness, and technology. She is a deaf mid-tier influencer on YouTube who shares helpful information with her subscribers, including tips for scoring free hearing aids, “deaf-friendly” tech tools to make everyday life easier, and an inside look at how deaf and blind people can communicate with one another.