Communication Contest for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

The Optimist International would like to announce “Communication Contest for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (CCDHH)”. Young people through grade 12 in the United States and Canada, to CEGEP in Québec and grade 13 in the Caribbean, who are educated in the United States, Canada or the Caribbean, can apply for the contest. This contest offers an opportunity for children who are deaf or hard of hearing to present their thoughts in the community, gaining skills, which can only come from signing or speaking to a large audience. A scholarship $2,500 Award amount provided for those who do the best.

Optimist International is a worldwide volunteer organization made up of more than 2,500 local Clubs whose Members work each day to make the future brighter by bringing out the best in children, in their communities, and in themselves. Optimist International will be recognized worldwide as the premier volunteer organization that values all children and helps them develop to their full potential.


To be eligible for this scholarship, you must:

  • The contest is open to young people through grade 12 in the United States and Canada, to CEGEP in Quebec and grade 13 in the Caribbean.
  • Students must have an uncorrected hearing loss of 40 decibels or more in order to be eligible to participate. Participants must submit an audiogram or a Cochlear Implant Programming Report done within 24 months of the date of the contest from a qualified audiologist
  • Contestants are eligible for only one Club’s contest during any given year.
  • Each contestant must prepare his or her own presentation with limited assistance on content. Improvements to the presentation can be made at any time.
  • A student who has won a District CCDHH or CCHIscholarship is not eligible to compete at any level of the competition again

How to Apply:

  • Applicants can download the application form through the given link:
  • Interested students should contact their local Optimist Club. To find out the contact in your area, please e-mail the Programs department at

Supporting Documents:

All applicants must provide the following information

  • All contestants must make a presentation on the official contest topic and submit a typed copy of the speech.
  • Contestants can present in sign language, orally or be using a combination of both.
  • Presentations may be delivered in a language other than English if the language used is the official language of the country in which the sponsoring Club is located
  • The interpreter is to be provided by the sponsoring Optimist Club/Zone/District.
  • All contestants must give the official contest topic before beginning their presentation. If a contestant fails to do this, a 3-point penalty will be automatically assessed by the timekeeper.
  • Any quotation or copyrighted material used in the presentation must be identified with the original author’s name. Failure to identify non-original material will result in disqualification.
  • The use of props, special costumes or clothing, or the use of prompters will not be permitted. The penalty will be a disqualification. Notes and lecterns can be used if the contestant desires.
  • The time limit is not under 4 minutes and no longer than 5 minutes. Contestants going over or under will not be cautioned and will be penalized one point each 15 seconds or fraction of over or under the time limits. This penalty will be assessed by the timekeeper.
  • Timing will begin immediately after the official topic is given. Timing will stop when the contestant finishes.

Communication Contest for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Financial Aid and Award Money:             

Foundations will provide fund a $2,500 scholarship to any District that meets the minimum participation criteria.

Application Deadline: 

Applications will no longer be accepted after June 15, 2017.

Link for More Information:

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