Mandy Harvey, as you may recall, is the young woman who reached the Top 4 of the 2017 America’s Got Talent. Her amazing pitch, which was recognized by the judges, particularly Simon, is extraordinary because she is profoundly deaf as the result of an unusual ailment called EDS. She has her debut SRG/Universal album Nice to Meet You coming out in mid-October and I would love to schedule an interview. She recently released a new single called “Release Me” with a new music video that is groundbreaking with it’s use of ASL (American Sign Language) and ASL gloss captions. You can check it out here –
As you’ll see, the music video is groundbreaking because she has really set a precedent to establish inclusion for the ASL community with permanent ASL Gloss captions for interpretation. The video is also translated into French and Spanish. The opening shot focuses on Mandy‘s hands to indicate the ASL inclusion but the theme is much grander. When Mandy wrote this song, she was creating a metaphor to show how a person can be trapped and how the world tries to put us in a limited box of possibilities. At the end, when she breaks out of the box, she is showing that it is each individual’s decision whether they choose to be limited. Her goal is for this to be “a step forward in the long journey towards being inclusive” and to have respect for each person’s individuality and point of view.
In addition to her recording career, Mandy is still very active trying to enhance possibilities for the deaf and disabled communities. She worked closely with Not Impossible Labs in the development of an innovative vibrotextile technology. M:NI Wearables provide music access to the deaf community and an enhanced musical experience for all. She also makes time to be an Ambassador for No Barriers USA acknowledging, encouraging and empowering those with disabilities. She travels the country to heighten awareness, break down blocks, challenge stereotypes, and lead the charge toward a brighter future for all.