When we built our new website, we had to remove all the articles that were published in the past. We are republishing them once again, starting with our first publication, an interview with Mandy Harvey before she became a star after her appearance during the America's Got Talent. We hope you like it:)
We are very excited to publish our first post to this series of posts dedicated to the promotion of the TALENT of those with disabilities. We have baptized this series as "Talent Showcase" We will be publishing some interviews with famous and ordinary people that overcame their disability using their talent. There will always have 5 questions related to the interviewers’ disabilities, their talent and their perception about the job market.
We were very honored to start this series with a very talented artist. Mandy Harvey is an award winning singer, songwriter and motivational speaker who just happens to have an invisible disability. A Vocal Music Education major at Colorado State University, Mandy lost her residual hearing in 2006-2007 at age eighteen due to a connective tissue disorder that affected her nerves and left the program. She pursued several career options, including education, but returned to music in 2008. Her true passion could no longer be denied. She quickly became a regular performer at various venues and has released three albums thus far. Though her hearing loss is profound, her timing and pitch are perfect and her passion is tremendous. With support from friends, family and her faith, Mandy continues to find joy in music.
1. What is your challenge (disability) and how has it became part of your daily life?
I lost the residual hearing in both ears when I was a freshman in college studying vocal music education. Being 18 and losing my hearing changed everything for me. I had to re-learn how to communicate and live in a world that is surrounded by sound.
2. What does talent mean to you?
Talent is the ability to take a passion and mix it with endless hard work.
3. What is your talent and how has it helped you overcome barriers that you need to face due to your disability?
My talent is surrounded with music. I have devoted my time to making people smile and bring hope through song. I found that my barriers with music have mainly been self made. You tell yourself that you are not good enough, some things are impossible, that you could be so much better...and it rips you apart. My biggest fear was losing my hearing and it happened. Now any fear will only be second to something I made it though so I can make it through anything if I just stop telling myself I can’t.
4. Do you think the business community sees individuals with disabilities differently? Very much so and it isn't always a bad thing. Every person is different with different skills and working with those skills can be a wonderful thing. However most of the time when business see "differences" because of disabilities what they are seeing is inability. I can't tell you how many jobs I interviewed for and never made it past my first interview because they couldn't see how I could do the job without answering a phone. There are so many work-arounds if you take half a second and work as a team to say "OK here is a small barrier, let's jump over it together." There are tons of capable and brilliant people out there who happen to have a disability that would be better suited for some jobs they just need the opportunity.
5. If you could send a message to the business community regarding individuals with disabilities in the work place, what would it be?
Hahahaha I feel like I already answered that one
If you wish to know more about Mandy, visit her website www.mandyharveymusic.com
Do you have a story to share with us? So, please, answer the same questions, inform your social media, and website and send to us on firstname.lastname@example.org If we consider that your story worth sharing, we will get in touch with you.