If you need a reason to smile today, this Deaf woman's heartwarming Tik Tok video will absolutely do the trick. When 19-year-old Chrissy went out to run errands for the day, she wasn't expecting to come across so many people in her community who could speak to her with American Sign Language. "Today I went to three places and at all three, people signed!" Chrissy said excitedly in the video. She then went on to describe her visit to the bank, a local Starbucks, and a pizza restaurant, where she was delighted to find that the people around her could sign, making it easier for her to communicate with them. "It was like a perfect world. It was like a utopia," she said.
September is Deaf Awareness Month, and Chrissy's video sends an important message that learning even a few essential ASL signs can have a huge impact on the Deaf community and those around us who have difficulties communicating verbally. "Very rarely do I have a day like this," Chrissy said in a Twitter post. "I don't really think about how detached I can be sometimes until people around me engage; it's crazy just being able to comfortably chat with everyone made me so happy. I seriously thought I was being pranked or something lol."
A student at the University of California's School of Cinematic Arts, Chrissy is a self-proclaimed Deaf activist and content creator with her own YouTube channel, The Essential Sign.
"I'm Deaf. My whole family is hearing, so I was mainstreamed and did speech therapy for 13 years," Chrissy says on her YouTube "About" page. "At a young age, I recognized my situation and I took the initiative to learn sign language and become involved in the Deaf community. I have communicated with ASL for 8 years (I'm still not perfect) and it has made my life so much more accessible and given me the ability to communicate comfortably. ASL is a language I rely on daily and I do not take it for granted. But Deaf is not all I am, I am currently 19 and in college majoring in Film and Digital Media. I love creating, experimenting and learning. I am using YouTube's platform to talk about my experiences and spread awareness about the Deaf community, ASL, the value of communication, and accessibility."