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Everyone Needs a Role Model

Mandy Harvey sings in front of a microphone.

This year fans of America’s Got Talent were shocked when Mandy Harvey took the stage and delivered an amazing vocal rendition of her original songs accompanied by her ukulele. What made her performance shocking and amazing is the fact that Mandy is deaf. She was born with hearing loss and underwent several corrective surgeries as a child then lost her remaining hearing at the age of eighteen.

Mandy was a vocal music education major at Colorado State University when she lost her residual hearing. At the time, she thought her musical career was over and began to pursue other interests. However, her love of music was so strong that she found ways around her hearing loss. When she performs, she doesn’t wear shoes so that she can feel the music through the floor. She also uses visual tuners to help her stay on pitch. Mandy did not let her hearing loss stand in the way of her competing in America’s Got Talent and winning fourth place.

All children need role models, but children with disabilities need role models who “look” like them. They need to see that having a disability does not mean they can’t be successful. DCMP has inspirational media to help.

Related Resources

Heart of a Champion (Series)
Jeff’s Day: A Short Film From a Blind Perspective
Blindspot
Career Stories of Individuals Who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing: Ambitious Achievers
Career Stories of Individuals Who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing: Tech Savvy
Career Stories of Individuals Who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing: Brilliant at Business
Achieving Goals! Definitely Dynamic Achieving Goals! Phenomenal Professionals

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