A Conversation with Miss Jessica Kellgren-Hayes
Miss Jessica Kellgren-Hayes has been vlogging since the March of 2016. Although, she was no stranger to the vlogging world since she previously used her YouTube channel to review classic films for years. Her current YouTube channel includes a plethora of videos from how to sign using BSL to various songs or common instances, internet challenges featuring her wife, vlogs on how being deafened has affected her life, and so much more.
Jessica’s first sign of hearing problems began under the age of four years old, however she was accused of just being ‘dreamy’ instead of actually struggling with hearing. Her struggle became much more severe around the age of fifteen, but she finally received help at the age of nineteen. She began using two hearing aids and a sign language interpreter to help her with her university lectures.
Jessica said that she, “wanted to use [her] channel to show that disabilities come in many forms. [Disabilities] do not need to be immediately obvious to hugely impact your life.” Her videos show this by having such a wide range on what she discusses. By no means are all of her videos centered around the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community, but this shows that her disability does not control her. She wants her watchers and subscribers to know that being disabled does not mean that her life cannot be fun and exciting. Along with being deafened, as she describes herself in her video titled, “Deaf vs. Hard of Hearing – What’s the Difference?” She suffers from other neurological disorders. As one may notice, she does not sign in all of her videos because this can cause pain and cramping in her hands, which will create difficulty in signing. This is just another reason that shows how Jessica battles with her disability and still leads an exciting and joy filled life.
Jessica’s vlogs are great for those in the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community while also being beneficial for those who want to educate themselves on BSL and the community.