TikTok has given thousands of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities a voice and a platform to freely share their lives with audiences craving something new.
It wasn’t always this way. The TikTok Autism Challenge mocked people with disabilities. Then TikTok was found to be suppressing videos of people with Down syndrome, autism and other differences. In TikTok’s defense, they shut down the #Autism Challenge pretty quickly and they admit their suppression of videos featuring people with disabilities was to protect those who might be harassed or bullied.
Still, with determination and a story to tell, people with disabilities found their platform and are embracing their role as creators:
- Sharing their personalities and daily lives
- Displaying some amazing talents
- Providing examples of inclusion
- Calling out exclusion and ableism
- Challenging stereotypes
- Breaking stigmas
From established social influencers to up and coming creators, you’ll see relationships, makeup and hairstyle, dance moves, exercise videos, original music and all the everyday ordinary stuff that comes with being human and being disabled.
Here are our top TikTok creators with I/DD you need to follow now.
Follow @BakerBanter to experience family life with Derek who has Down syndrome. What happens when the power goes out? Who has better abs, Derek or Dave Bautista? An impressive 2.4 million people tune in for these kinds of daily topics.
@MalloryPaigeDesigns shares the family apparel business that hires people with Down syndrome along with Mallory’s daily life and passion for Cheetos.
@PaintWithJeff highlights the painting prowess of Jeff, a creator with cerebral palsy who uses some unique paint techniques.
Newer among this bunch, @HusbandWife41 share their love for each other with dance, music and fun. Watch as their relationship together grows from falling in love to missing each other when they’re apart.
@PaigeLayle is independent, has autism and loves collecting crystals, you know, rocks. She also likes to help others understand and accept autism.
@TheBlindWoodsman uses his hands as his eyes while creating works of art from ordinary wood. In addition to being blind, he is older than the typical social media influencer. Check him out.
Damion @ItsDamionG is a model and influencer who believes that having a disability is the best thing that ever happened to him. He’s currently working on getting down on one knee so he can propose marriage one day.
@JenniferMsumba is a creator in real life and on TikTok. She’s a musician, filmmaker and storyteller with a zest for life. She’s working on her next short film. Maybe we’ll see something behind the scenes on TikTok.
We narrowed it down to 10 covering a variety of interests. Need more? Follow the video stream within #Disability for more amazing creators on TikTok.