Expressions Contest Overview

The Expressions Contest format provides more options for contestants to express themselves while still staying true to the purpose of the original essay contest: outreach, education, and general awareness-raising around the issue of disabilities.

Deadline for entries extended to March 15, 2017


All entries (in both categories) must consider and respond to one of the following cues:

  • Do you or does someone you know have a special need (physical, intellectual, developmental, or age-related)? How would you express what constitutes life without limits for you or for that individual?
  • Alternatively, if you don’t have personal experience with a disability, think about what it might be like to be limited in what you can do, or how you do it. How would you express that?

Consider these Scenarios

To get you thinking about what “life without limits” might mean to someone with a disability, consider these scenarios...

  • Someone (for example, a family member, caregiver, friend, teacher, or advisor) or something (a device, piece of equipment or technology) makes the life of an individual with a disability easier, richer, fuller, or more independent (at work, school, home, or in the community).
  • Someone with a disability or special need experiences firsthand the transformative power of people, programs, and services in their life. 
  • An individual with a disability experiences unanticipated joy or satisfaction as a direct result of the caring and compassion of another person.
  • A person with a disability benefits in a very real, very tangible way, from an individual’s or organization’s financial support.

After considering each of these scenarios, how would you express that… either in words or picture?

We are currently offering two principle avenues of expression--words and pictures--as follows:

Original Writing

  • Essay
  • Poetry
  • Short Story

Original picture:

  • Photo  
  • Drawing or painting (one dimensional only)

See Entry Requirements for more details.

Another significant change in the contest is the transition to an electronic format (or one that is as near paperless as possible). We encourage contestants to submit their entries online.

Please note that we will continue to accept paper entries from contestants who do not have the capability to submit their entry online.

Entry Requirements