Jasmine Whipps, best known as Jazzy, started her YouTube channel just over five years ago. Now the 20-year-old from the UK has over 200,000 subscribers.
She’s a deaf YouTuber and role model to watch!
Born profoundly deaf into a hearing family, Whipps’ first language is British Sign Language (BSL). In addition to her YouTube channel, she works part-time in London as an administrator at Deafinitely Theatre. Her role involves undertaking a variety of general administrative tasks on an ad-hoc basis, including editing videos.
Getting creative with videos
Whipps entered the YouTube world making beauty videos, and went on to film more deaf-related topics and lifestyle clips. Her enjoyable videos showcase her adorable dog, as well as friends and family. They feature entertaining challenges, real-life experiences, as well as solo videos teaching BSL, makeup tutorials, and seasonal favorites.
One video she filmed, “Can my hearing family understand my deaf voice?” went viral. As Whipps communicates with her family using sign language, for this video she decided to turn (her) voice on to see if they could understand what she was saying. It racked over 5 million views, which she didn’t imagine would happen.
How YouTube changed her life
Having over 200,000 subscribers on her YouTube channel has changed her life. Opening many doors of opportunity, Whipps works on lots of different exciting projects for Samsung, BBC, and more.
To be known as “a deaf role model is crazy to believe!” she says.
Visiting VidCon in February, Whipps found the experience “brilliant and exciting.” With well-known YouTubers talking about their journeys and lots of workshops, she learned interesting things about YouTube.
She also met her “lovely fans and well-known influencers, which was amazing,” she recalls.
“Going from being very ill in hospital with Ulcerative Colitis to a few years later a successful YouTuber… this shows that you should never give up even if you’re going through a hard time,” Whipps adds.
Collaborations with other Deaf YouTubers
Whipps did a collaboration with British deaf YouTuber Jessica Kellgren-Fozard filming “Christmas Crackers” on her channel, where viewers asked questions about their deafness. This followed a video on Kellgren-Fozard’s channel about the “difference between our deaf lives” comparing and chatting about how Kellgren-Fozard grew up oral and became deaf at a later age with Whipps being profoundly deaf from birth and communicating in BSL. It’s wonderful to see young, talented creators coming together to create unique content.
Whipps hopes one day to collaborate with American Deaf YouTubers like Cheyenna Clearbrook because they have similar videos.
Through her passion for sign language, Whipps says she has one aim, “to encourage more hearing people to learn sign language for the deaf community and explore Deaf culture.”
She wants to show the world that her deafness won’t hold her back from doing what she loves.
Whipps wishes to see more deaf influencers on TV shows so deaf people can be recognized, an equally important message to encourage more #DeafTalent on our screens.
The Importance of access and captioning
Whipps always uses closed captions on her videos,
“It’s very important for viewers to understand what I am signing, even for the deaf community too, as there are lots and lots of different sign languages in the world like there are spoken languages,” she says.
“It’s very important for viewers to understand what I am signing, even for the deaf community too, as there are lots and lots of different sign languages in the world like there are spoken languages,”
Whipps would love to see more YouTubers captioning their videos, so the deaf community can enjoy their videos like hearing people do.
Ellie was born profoundly deaf, uses verbal communication, lipreads and wears Phonak Sky Q hearing aids. She is currently learning British Sign Language. Ellie hasn’t let her disability stand in the way and embraces every new challenge. Her deafness didn’t prevent her from achieving major accomplishments in her life, such as excelling in her education, previously working as a Marketing Executive and now as an Events Coordinator for a deaf organization, as well as blogging for Hearing Like Me. She is passionate about deaf awareness, campaigning for equality and helping others through her personal blog as Deafie Blogger.
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