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"America's Got Talent" finalist Mandy Harvey to appear at UP Abilities

By Suzanne Garofalo, Chron
summarized by Rachel Cain, Staff Writer

Mandy Harvey lost her hearing due to a connective-tissue disorder when she was in college. Now, about 10 years later, this "America's Got Talent" finalist and ukelele-player singer-songwriter is working to create a more inclusive music environment for everybody.

After Harvey became deaf, she continued to develop her musical talent with visual tuners and vibrating speakers.

After she appeared on "America's Got Talent," some people told her she is the only deaf musician they know of. Harvey explained that's not reflective of the music community.

"I am surrounded by brilliant deaf musicians all the time," she said. "So it's kind of beautiful to be helping to further the idea that 'deaf can' and to shed a little bit of a light on how there's different types of disabilities."

Harvey also has Ehlers-Danlos syndrome type 3.

She hopes to help make music more inclusive for and inclusive to everyone.

"I'm really so frustrated with going to festivals and there not being any closed captioning or interpreters," she explained. "Why not allow the vast majority of people to understand what's being said?"

Harvey said this extends beyond just sign language. She's working on writing songs to sing - and sign - in different languages as well.

You can read the full story here.

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