The Invisible Disabilities Association (IDA) today released the new LIVE performance by Mandy Harvey and Pete Ohlin, “Together.” This special song brings hope to people living with invisible disabilities. The song was created to bring awareness and encouragement to millions who live with illness, pain and injury around the world.
Two Come “Together” and Their Song Brings Hope
One-fifth of Americans live with disabilities. Most of us are quick to recognize these individuals and be helpful when we can. This is pretty easy when the disability is something we can see. But did you know that about 75% of disabled Americans live with disabilities we cannot see? These are called invisible disabilities and they bring a host of challenges to those who deal with them every day. Mandy Harvey and Pete Ohlin write, compose and perform this single “Together” from their experiences as two people dealing with invisible disabilities and the hidden challenges each day.
The term invisible disabilities refers to symptoms such as debilitating pain, fatigue, dizziness, cognitive dysfunctions, brain injuries, learning differences and mental health disorders, as well as hearing and vision impairments. These are not always obvious but can limit daily activities ranging from mild challenges to severe limitations and varying from person to person.
Don’t Judge What You See — Learn to Listen
Someone who has a visible impairment or uses a wheelchair, walker or cane or other device can also have invisible disabilities. Unfortunately, people often judge others by what they see and conclude a person can or cannot do something by the way they look. This can be equally frustrating for those who may appear unable, but are perfectly capable, as well as those who appear able, but are not. Everyone with a disability is different, with varying challenges and needs, as well as abilities and attributes. We all should learn to listen with our ears, instead of judging with our eyes.
New Song Brings Hope and Shares Secret of How to Be “Invisible No More”
In this beautiful ballad “Together,” Mandy and Pete hope to connect people and change minds by encouraging them to come together to share their stories, and in doing so they are “invisible no more.” “Together,” with its lyrics and music by Mandy and instrumentation by Pete, debuted LIVE during the 2016 Invisible Disabilities Association Awards (IDA) Gala in honor of the successful IDA program, Invisible No More!®. It is released today as the group prepares to announce the amazing lineup of speakers for 2017 gala later this year. Share the video! Download the single, “Together!” A portion of the proceeds go to IDA when you download it here.
The heart-warming lyrics for “Together” are close captioned with the music and signed by Mandy as she sings. The musicians and lyrics really drive home the mission of the Invisible No More campaign which encourages people living with invisible disabilities to get creative and share their stories and challenges through video, sound, art, writing, technology for themselves, friends, family or the world — whatever it takes to help communicate what they are experiencing. Sometimes it is difficult for those with invisible disabilities to share their feelings and sadly, friends and family sometimes assume they are exaggerating their pain, unmotivated to improve, not trying hard enough, not wanting to get better, failing to pay attention or simply being lazy.
Encouraging Creative Self Expression Begins when a Song Brings Hope
The purpose of the Invisible No More campaign is to bring awareness of invisible disabilities and share true life stories to bring about respect, belief and better understanding to those living with various conditions. Just as this song brings hope, IDA founders Sherri and Wayne Connell have the same wish for other creative works of others produced through the IDA campaign and the people that are impacted by it. Download here.
You may know Mandy from her June 2017 debut on America’s Got Talent (AGT) when her extraordinary audition with her song, “Try” got the coveted Golden Buzzer from Simon Cowell. The audience was up on their feet applauding and cheering for Mandy’s amazing performance and incredible story!
ABOUT MANDY HARVEY:
Mandy is a singer, songwriter and motivational speaker. Mandy lost her hearing due to a connective tissue disorder when she was 18. She was a music major, so this loss was devastating! She wasn’t sure what to do next, but her father encouraged her to pursue her singing career anyway. Mandy works very hard every day to keep her voice in shape and in tune. She has produced three CD’s, has performed for many prestigious venues and is now a featured contender on America’s Got Talent.
IDA has been honored to have been graced by Mandy’s incredible talent and passionate message to “Never Give Up.” Mandy was the special guest entertainer for IDA’s 2015 and 2016 kickoff parties. She was the recipient of the 2015 IDA Inspiration Award, the Headline Entertainment for the 2016 IDA Awards Gala and an IDA Ambassador until her career path turned to AGT this year.
When Mandy received the 2015 “But You Look Good” Inspiration Award, her acceptance speech was extremely heartfelt and moving!
Another huge highlight of the 2015 IDA Awards Gala, was when IDA Headliner and Acquired Savant, Derek Amato played the piano and Mandy sang the single, “The Script.” The attendees gave this incredible performance by Derek and Mandy a roaring standing ovation!
Mandy also had a blast with the audience, as she lead them in a unique chorus of “Over the Rainbow” with the audience playing their very own instruments … Kazoos!
For the 2016 IDA Awards Gala, we were thrilled to have Mandy and her band as our Headline Entertainment. When Mandy sang throughout the night, it brought chills to the attendees, with her spectacular voice and delightful charm! Most of her songs were from her amazing genre of jazz classics.
Finally, also at the 2016 IDA Awards Gala, Mandy and Pete debuted the single, “Together” The attendees were in awe and hanging on every word of compassion and hope as they were brought to tears with this brand new inspirational ballad. Wow! What an evening to remember as a song brings hope over and over again to many who desire to be invisible no more.
ABOUT PETE OHLIN:
Pete is an IDA Ambassador, singer and songwriter whose passion for music actually came out of his own desperation for peace. When Pete was eleven years old, his sister died from spinal meningitis. After this event, he struggled with depression and insomnia.
The only time Pete felt at total peace was when he played the piano. The vibration of the piano strings resonated deep within his body, which somehow helped sooth his emotional scars. During Pete’s time in college, when he couldn’t sleep, he would walk to the music hall and play for hours until his spirit could rest. Today Pete is an inspiration to so many people with his beautiful compositions and his contribution to this song brings hope again and again. Read more about Pete.
Don’t forget to share the “LIVE “Together” video with your friends, family and groups!
Download “Together” Today! A portion of the proceeds go to IDA when you download it here!