A 29-year-old deaf singer has made it through to the final ten in the latest series of ‘America’s Got Talent’.
Following in the footsteps of Nyle DiMarco (who won ‘America’s Next Top Model’ in 2015), Mandy Harvey is flying the flag for global deaf talent on television screens across the world.
Watch her in action here:
Ms. Harvey was born in Ohio, and has inner ear issues that mean she relied on hearing aids and lip-reading, until her deafness became so profound the hearing aids no longer helped.
She had dreamt of becoming a choral director, and worried that this was no longer possible, until her father encouraged her to sing and she realised she was still able to accurately hit the notes.
In an article for npr.org, Ms, Harvey said; “I used to hate performing. [I had] such anxiety. I would throw up or blackout. It was horrible.”
However, losing her hearing had the positive effect of helping her overcome these nerves, and she has now performed at hundreds of concerts and will be releasing her fifth album later this year. She often performs without shoes, so that she can feel the vibrations of the music through her feet.
Ms. Harvey, who is also an avid supporter of Invisible Disabilities, sings so well that her level of deafness is sometimes called into question – something she finds extremely frustrating.
She is also keen that people judge her on her skills, and not her deafness.
“Not that I’m hiding my disability or whatever you would call it,” she told npr.org, “I don’t find it to be really a disability. It’s just I do things differently and I want people to appreciate music for what it is, and not because of a story. I’m not a story; I’m a person, and my passion is music. And I want your passion to be my music – so, judge me on my music.”
The Limping Chicken is the world's most popular Deaf blog, and is edited by Deaf journalist and filmmaker Charlie Swinbourne. Find out how to write for us by clicking here, how to follow us by clicking here, and read our disclaimer here.
The site exists thanks to our supporters. Check them out below:
- Eyewitness Media: TV and film from a Deaf perspective
- Ai-Media: Remote captioning. Find out about the Deaf fashion bloggers taking on the world!
- Bellman & Symfon: home alerting solutions
- Deaf Umbrella: sign language interpreting and communications support
- Appa: Communication services for Deaf, Deafblind and hard of hearing people
- SignLive: Online video interpreting for Deaf people
- SignVideo: Instant BSL video interpreting online
- 121 Captions: captioning and speech-to-text services
- Signature: Leading awarding body for BSL qualifications
- The National Theatre: Captioned and BSL accessible theatre in London
- Doncaster School for the Deaf: education for Deaf children
- Signworld: Learn BSL online!
- Action Deafness Communications: sign language and Red Dot online video interpreting
- BSLcourses.co.uk: Provider of online BSL courses
- Association of Notetaking Professionals: The professional body representing Electronic and Manual Notetakers
- Sign Solutions: communication support, training and translation
- InterpretersLive: On demand BSL video interpretation
- Cast Theatre, Doncaster: The UK's the UK’s first fully BSL integrated pantomime
- Hamilton Lodge School in Brighton: education for Deaf children
- Lipspeaker UK: specialist lipspeaking support
- Ozen: Australian hearing aid specialists
- Elmfield School, Bristol: Inclusive education for Deaf pupils
- deafPLUS: BSL advice helpline
- Exeter Deaf Academy: education for Deaf children
- Royal Shakespeare Company: Captioned and BSL interpreted performances (see dates here)
- Royal School for the Deaf, Derby: Residential education for deaf children
- RAD Tax Advice: Tax and Tax Credit info for Deaf people
- Deaf Independent: Deaf care and support services
- Performance Interpreting: BSL interpreting at concerts
- National Deaf Children's Society: The leading charity for deaf children
- Signed Culture: Advocating for BSL access to arts and culture
- SignHealth: healthcare charity for Deaf people
- CJ Interpreting: communication support in BSL
- British Society for Mental Health and Deafness: Promoting positive mental health for deaf people