2018 Flying Hands ASL Literature Competition

Flying Hands Logo

Washington School for the Deaf proudly welcomes you to the annual​ Flying Hands ASL Literature Competition

MARCH 7-8, 2018

For the 2018 Flying Hands Competition criteria, click here.
Registration Form (PDF)

Flying Hands Competition Categories

ASL Poetry

American Sign Language poetry is meant to be enjoyed visually. ASL poetry has been around for as long as there has been ASL. Literary elements of ASL poetry include: rhyme, metaphor, non-manual signs (signals), personification, place, meter and more. At this event, you will observe all or some of these elements. ASL poetry can be simple, as you will see with the younger children, or it can be quite complex.

ASL Storytelling

Storytelling through ASL has many functions; it can be used to educate, entertain, and unify audiences on topics related to the Deaf experience. It can be a moral lesson, to teach about the Deaf world, or to preserve Deaf culture and history. Stories must have a beginning, middle and end.

Deaf View/Image Art (De’VIA)

De’VIA represents Deaf artists and perceptions based on their Deaf experiences.  It uses formal art elements with the intention of expressing innate cultural or physical Deaf experience.  These experiences may include Deaf metaphors, Deaf perspectives, and Deaf insight in relationship with the environment (both the natural world and Deaf cultural environment), spiritual and everyday life. De’VIA is created when the artist intends to express their Deaf experience through visual art.


Our Origins at WSD

Washington School for the DeafOriginating in 2006, the Washington School for the Deaf’s Flying Hands competition is an American Sign Language literature contest including poetry, storytelling and De’Via art. The contest is available to students in the Oregon, Washington, Montana and the Vancouver B.C. areas. This contest is designed to encourage the study and practice of ASL and its literary forms. ASL literature is the place where the study of, and pride of Deaf Culture and ASL arts takes place.


The Inspiration Behind Flying Hands

Marie Jean Philip Competition

Born in 1953, Marie Jean Philip worked for Northeastern University as one of the first Deaf teachers at the University. She went on to receive a BA degree in Linguistics at Northeastern. Marie became the Bilingual-Bicultural Coordinator at The Learning Center for the Deaf in Framingham, Massachusetts. She was one of the original people to research, study and establish ASL as a recognized Language. She was internationally known for advocating for ASL and Deaf Culture. The primary goal of this competition is to create a fitting tribute to honor the memory of Marie (who passed away unexpectedly in 1997) as the tireless advocate of Deaf children. The second goal of this event is to provide a forum for public recognition of the creativity and talent of Deaf students.

(https://www.northeastern.edu/cssh/asl/events/mjp-competition/)