National Competitions for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Youth

This list highlights nationwide academic competitions for elementary- to college-age deaf and hard of hearing youth. Competitions focus on skills involving the use of American Sign Language literature and storytelling, English literature and writing, poetry in both ASL and English, mathematics, art, film, animation, design, technological innovation, social studies, science, current events, community-based advocacy, and giving presentations.

Academic Bowl  (high school)

Scholarships, certificates, and travel. Open to teams from any deaf or hard of hearing educational program for high school students, including schools and regional centers. Youth Programs, Gallaudet University

Annual Chuck Baird Memorial Art Competition (high school, college)

Monetary prizes, certificates, and prize items. Scholarships also awarded to college students. Open to students on any campus that has an ASL Honor Society chapter. CODAs may also compete. American Sign Language Honor Society, American Sign Language Teachers Association

Annual Eric "Malz" Malzkuhn ASL Literature Competition (high school, college)

Monetary prizes, certificates, and prize items. Scholarships also awarded to college students. Open to students on any campus that has an ASL Honor Society chapter. CODAs may also compete. American Sign Language Honor Society, American Sign Language Teachers Association

Battle of the Books (middle school)

Gift cards and travel. Open to teams from any deaf or hard of hearing educational program for middle school students, including schools and regional centers. Youth Programs, Gallaudet University

College Bowl (college)

Monetary prizes. Open to any deaf or hard of hearing team from a junior college or four-year college or university. National Association of the Deaf

Communication Contest for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (elementary, middle school, high school)

Scholarships. Annual themes serve as the focus of presentations. May be signed or spoken. Audiograms or cochlear implant programming reports must be submitted within 24 months of the date of the contest. Optimist International

Digital Arts, Film and Animation Competition (high school)

Cash prizes. Teachers recommend entrants. Categories include web design, graphic media, 3D animation, interactive media, film, and photo imaging. National Technical Institute for the Deaf, Rochester Institute of Technology

Marie Jean Philip ASL Poetry, Storytelling and Deaf Art Competition (elementary, middle school, college)

Awards for placing. Open to all levels of deaf and hard of hearing students. Six group categories based on age. Annual themes serve as focuses for entrants. American Sign Language Program, Northeastern University

Math Competition (middle school)

Monetary prizes, plaques, medals, T-shirts. Open to teams from any deaf or hard of hearing educational program for middle school students. National Technical Institute for the Deaf, Rochester Institute of Technology

National Literary Competition (elementary, middle school, high school)

Scholarships, summer camp, and travel. Open to all deaf or hard of hearing students. Youth Programs, Gallaudet University

SpiRIT Writing Contest (10th and 11th grade)

Choice of scholarship and paid travel or cash prize, plaques. Open to deaf or hard of hearing 10th and 11th grade students from any school or district. Two students per grade from each school or district may enter. National Technical Institute for the Deaf, Rochester Institute of Technology

Youth Ambassador Program (ages 18-30)

Ambassadorship, travel. Open to any deaf or hard of hearing young adult between the ages of 18 and 30. National Association of the Deaf

Youth De'VIA Competition (elementary, middle school, high school)

Awards for placing. Open to any deaf or hard of hearing student. Categories include 2D art, 3D art, photography, and digital images. Kansas School for the Deaf and the Deaf Cultural Center 

Last updated February 2018

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