If you don’t live with a disability, you may not appreciate how crucial and meaningful community and accessibility are — but one viral TikTok is showing exactly why.
Chrissy Marshall, a 19-year-old content creator living in Los Angeles, was born hard of hearing and became profoundly deaf in high school. Now, she makes content on YouTube and TikTok about her disability and American Sign Language.
One of those videos captures a “special” day she had recently. In the TikTok, Marshall, looking so happy and excited, recounts her day of encountering three people who signed to her with ASL.
“Oh my god, today has been crazy,” she says and signs in the video. “Today I went to three places and all three people signed.”
She describes stopping at the bank, where a teller signed with her, then at Starbucks, where a deaf barista signed, and then she grabbed a pretzel, where the worker also signed.
“Everyone signed! It was like a perfect world. It’s like utopia.”
The TikTok was reuploaded to Twitter, where it went viral.
“The sun was shining, people were signing, and everything felt so fluid,” Marshall told BuzzFeed News in an interview. “I thought I was being pranked or something, like cameras were going to pop out and ask about my day,”
“The area has a big deaf community,” she added, “and I’m glad and inspired to see the impact it’s had on the greater community as a whole.”
The video is making other people happy, too, and encouraging them to learn ASL.
Marshall said her online platform has given her the opportunity to spread awareness about disability rights, ASL, and deafness.
Her other videos cover what it’s like to be deaf, and she also posts fun ones like ASL versions of songs.
“I’m so glad it’s just more people I get the opportunity to educate and inspire to be part of the community,” said Marshall.
“I am a huge advocate for people learning ASL and I’m happy and grateful so many people were inspired to do so.”
Lauren Strapagiel is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto, Canada.
Contact Lauren Strapagiel at [email protected]
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