Communication Contest for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

CCDHH 2020 - Imagine A World Without Boundaries

The Communication Contest for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing is designed to offer young people who are deaf or hard of hearing the opportunity to present their thoughts in a public forum. This experience helps students develop the skills and confidence to present in sign or orally to a large audience. The program also provides a valuable opportunity to compete for a $2,500 college scholarship.

The students did an amazing job at this level.


District CCDHH contestants and Optimist members
District CCDHH contestants and Optimist members
1st place, Brenda Rivas of Lubbock, 2nd place, Mary Bates of Plano, 3rd place Ashley Thornton of Weatherford.
1st place, Brenda Rivas of Lubbock, 2nd place, Mary Bates of Plano, 3rd place Ashley Thornton of Weatherford.
  • 4 to 5 minute presentations on the assigned topic
  • Open to young people through grade 12
  • Students may use sign language or oral presentation, or both

May, 2020

Education Service Center, Fort Worth - 1 pm

Official Rules

Section I - Contest Organization

  1. The CCDHH District Chair is responsible for all phases of the contest and their rulings in accordance with the official rules are final.
  2. All competitions must be conducted by Optimists only.
  3. The contest date, time and place will be determined by the Contest Chair.
  4. All contestants must comply with the official rules of the contest.
  5. All Zone and District-level contests must have a minimum of 3 contestants participating.

Section II - General Rules

  1. Contestants must enter through a local Optimist Club.
  2. Contestants are only eligible for one Club’s contest during any given year.
  3. Each contestant must prepare his or her own presentation with limited assistance on content. Improvements to the presentation can be made at any time.
  4. The official application must be completed by each contestant and submitted to the sponsoring Club’s Contest Chair.
  5. There is no stated minimum number of contestants that have to be obtained to perform a legitimate Club-level competition. In cases where the minimum number of 3 contestants at the Zone contest cannot be met, there are two options:
    1. Send Club winners directly to the next level of the contest.
    2. Combine Zone level contests. All Zone and District level contests must have no fewer than 3 contestants participating. There are no exceptions for District contests.
  6. A student who has won an Optimist International CCDHH or CCHI scholarship of any kind is not eligible to compete at any level of the competition again.

Section III – Qualifications for Contestants

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, who are educated in the United States, Canada or the Caribbean.

Students must submit the results of an audiogram (or if the student has a Cochlear Implant then a Programing Report is required in lieu of the audiogram) completed no longer than 24 months prior to the date of the contest by a qualified audiologist. Students must be certified to have a hearing loss of 40 decibels or more, which must be supported by the audiogram (or CI Programing Report) in order to be eligible to compete.

Students attending public school or schools providing special services are eligible to compete if eligibility criteria are met.

Section IV - Contest Rules

  1. The interpreter is to be provided by the sponsoring Optimist Club/Zone or District.
  2. The Contest Chair, prior to the start of the contest will conduct a drawing for the presentation order. All contestants will then be referred to as Presenter A, Presenter B, etc.
  3. All contestants must make a presentation on the official contest topic.
  4. Contestants can present in sign language, orally or using a combination of both.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. The use of props, special costumes or clothing, or the use of prompters will not be permitted. The penalty will be disqualification. Notes and lecterns can be used if the contestant desires.
  9. 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 for each 15 seconds or fraction of over or under the time limits. This penalty will be assessed by the timekeeper.
  10. Timing will begin immediately after the official topic is given. Timing will stop when the contestant finishes.
  11. No reference can be made that identifies the student, parents, school, community, sponsoring Optimist Club or District. This will result in a deduction of 5 points or a fraction of based on the degree of identification.
  12. Contestants must not be identified by name, school or sponsoring Club until all judges have left the room.
  13. Any protest in the conduct at any level of this contest must be made immediately after the condition is noted. Protests received after the next contestant has been introduced, or in the case of the last contestant, after the judges leave to total the scores, will not be accepted under any circumstances.
  14. The Contest Chair will rule on all protests in accordance with the official rules. The decision of the District Chair is final and no higher appeals will be recognized.

Section V - Judging and Timing

  1. Each contest must have three judges, one timekeeper and one certified interpreter. At the Club level, judges may be Optimist Members. At all other levels of the contest, judges must be non-Optimists (Friends of Optimists are excluded and can be used as judges).
  2. The judges must be qualified to evaluate the presentation methods of contestants with or without the assistance of an interpreter. (If all contestants are using sign language then deaf judges are allowed.)
  3. The judges and timekeeper must not be identified in any pre-publicity or at the contest until after the contest has been completed.
  4. During the contest, the judges and the timekeeper should be seated in different locations.
  5. The timekeeper must be provided with a regulation stopwatch or equivalent timing device.
  6. Judges are not permitted to discuss or compare scores or opinions on any of the contestants with anyone or each other. Judges must evaluate each presentation independently.
  7. The judges’ scores and penalties are confidential and should not be viewed by anyone except the Contest Chair.

Section VI – Scoring

  1. Material Organization – subject adherence, theme, content, color and logic. The maximum point award is 40 points.
  2. Delivery & Presentation – delivery, gestures and emphasis. The maximum point award is 30 points.
  3. Overall Effectiveness – appeal, impression, attitude and effect. The maximum point award is 30 points.

Section VII – Penalties

  1. Failure to give official topic – 3 point penalty
  2. Failure to identify non-original material - disqualification
  3. Use of props, etc. – disqualification
  4. Time penalties – 1 points for each 15 seconds or fraction of over or under the limit
  5. Self-identification – 5 points or fraction of based on degree of identification

Section VIII – Awards

The following are the only awards to be given in the Optimist International Communication Contest for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing at all Club and District contests. These official Optimist International awards are available from Optimist Supply or. Awards will not be ordered or sent automatically.

  1. Club Awards: Medallion Clubs are allowed to give monetary awards of up to $500 per winner in addition to the official medallions. The Club level awards may be given in the form of a scholarship, savings bond or cash prize but are completely discretionary.
  2. District Awards: Plaque and Scholarship
    1. One winner from each participating District will receive a $2500 scholarship for use at a college, university or trade school only.
    2. Scholarships are paid through the Optimist International Foundation in the United States and Caribbean and the Canadian Children’s Optimist Foundation in Canada.
    3. All scholarships will be administered by Optimist International.
    4. All scholarships will be payable to the educational institution of the recipient’s choice, subject to the approval of Optimist International.
    5. Winners of an Optimist International scholarship must claim their scholarship by the age of 25.
    6. If a District chooses to raise the amount of a scholarship funded by either of the Optimist International Foundations or fund additional scholarships, the District will be responsible for the management and awarding of those funds.

About Us

Although we come from all walks of life, the Weatherford Optimist Club members share one common trait. We know that we can make a difference in the lives of others in Weatherford and in our surrounding communities.


PO Box 2020
Weatherford, TX 76086

[email protected]

Weatherford Optimist Club

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