'I had become a liability' – Ausnew Home Care

'I had become a liability'

Acessibility Artist Deaf disability performer singer

Ana Maria Belo gave up singing for over a decade.(Supplied: Sally Flegg) 

Ana Maria Belo wants productions to consider the kind of modifications they could make to ensure all performers can be on stage.

Belo is NIDA graduate who lost much of her hearing at age 14. She was regularly performing in major musicals up until 2006, when she was asked in an audition whether she had any hearing loss. She answered in the affirmative.

"I never got a recall — and that was the first time I'd never gotten a recall. After that night, I stopped getting recalls, and that [question about my hearing] was a question on every single audition form," Belo said.

She stopped singing and continued acting. But then she lost more of her hearing, in 2012.

"I started wearing hearing aids. Before, no one knew I was deaf [but] now you could see it. I thought that was the end."

Belo recently returned to musical theatre, after a long hiatus, playing a key role in the Hayes Theatre's production of In the Heights.

The production team worked with Belo to make all the changes needed to ensure the sound in the performance was safe for her.

"This is the first musical I've done where they were like: 'We'll make this work' — rather than feeling like a hindrance," she said.

Source: ABC

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