National Writing Contest for High School Students with Hearing Loss

ROCHESTER, N.Y., Oct. 2—High school students with hearing loss in 10th or 11th grade can enter the third annual RIT SpiRIT Writing Contest, and compete for prizes, including a summer camp scholarship.
Winners will have their choice of a scholarship and travel expenses to the Explore Your Future program at RIT’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf, or a $500 cash prize. EYF is a six-day career exploration program for deaf and hard-of-hearing students that gives them the opportunity to sample different careers.
Complete contest guidelines and entry information are available at the RIT Web site. The deadline to enter is March 1, 2008. For more information, contact or call (585) 475-7695 (voice/TTY).
Rochester Institute of Technology is internationally recognized as a leader in computing, engineering, imaging technology, fine and applied arts, and for providing unparalleled support services for students with hearing loss. More than 1,100 students with hearing loss from around the world study, live and socialize with 14,400 hearing students on RIT’s Rochester, N.Y. campus. U.S. News and World Report has consistently ranked RIT among the nation’s leading comprehensive universities.


  1. When I was but a child
    I played by myself
    In a silence with many voices
    I see all alone
    I hated the silence within
    The difference it made of me
    An exotic bird from outer space
    Is how I looked with my signs
    With silence as my gaze
    A thousand sight and sound
    Of deep I hardly know
    I hated the quiet of it all
    If anyone comes asking of me
    They would make the silence scream
    Talking with finger prints
    Like a signature of my culture
    each hand rise above ones head
    Folks to me seem to go such wild
    Pantomimes trying to make me hear
    With the language of signs
    My dad’s herds once gentle and tame
    Put forth a threatening horn
    Gone wild when am near
    -They flee from me
    And the hen clucks away
    When I too try to talk with fingerprint
    And here I am this author
    The patron of finger art
    Making the silence scream
    As imagined in my poetry
    In Esanland in 1984, in my village, I fell ill, then I was diagnosed with meningitis, after three months in a local hospital and doctors battling to save my life with limited resources, I lost my hearing, I was seven years old then, and can only spell few words, such as ‘A’ for Ant, ‘B’ for bee and so on, other words play I was aware of were from evening gatherings in the village square, were the elders could gather us to tell stories, stories about our past…

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