National Association of the Deaf



Contestants are strongly encouraged to compete through NAD affiliate organizations and/or State associations for sponsorship. However, this preliminary round is not required.


ROUND ONE—FALL 2015: Audition Videos

Applicants must submit a two-minute video clip signed in ASL with English captions on a current social issue that he/she is passionate about. The video must include: (1) an explanation about how the chosen issue impacts the deaf and hard of hearing community; and (2) an example of how the applicant would address the issue.

Due: March 28, 2016

Score: Audition videos will be reviewed and screened by the YAP Committee and NAD staff for scoring purposes, with a focus on meeting competition criteria, appropriate content, and general expectations.

Prizes: No prizes for anyone in Round One but winners of Round One will be recognized by the NAD on the NAD website.


ROUND TWO—SPRING 2016: 7-Day Challenge

Contestants will be given a challenge to complete within 7 days in their current community. The contestants will seek solutions to the challenges. The YAP Committee will inform you of the challenge.

Due: End of April (subject to change)

Score: Reviewed and determined by selected Judges for scoring purposes.

Prizes: Winners of Round Two will receive complimentary tickets to enter the Finals at the NAD Biennial Conference in Phoenix, Arizona. The Winners are responsible for raising their own funds to attend the conference in Phoenix, Arizona including flight or other transportation, hotel lodgings, and food.


ROUND THREE—JULY 1 - JULY 4: Retreat and Hot Seat

During the retreat, at a specified location during the NAD Conference in Phoenix, Arizona contestants who have won Round Two will demonstrate their ability to use various skills in areas such as advocacy, marketing, leadership, and conflict resolution. The contestants will participate in a sponsored event which will happen after the Opening Ceremonies. This round will emphasize the importance of team relationships and collaboration efforts. In addition, “Hot Seat,” also known as private interviews, will take place in this round.

Selected judges will observe contestants’ ability to handle crises in this round. Judges will attend the sponsored event and observe each contestant’s social etiquette as they engage with other participants and the judges. Judges will select top 8 or 12 contestants (depending on the total number of participants in Round 1).

Score: Three judges will interact with contestants and share feedback. During the private interviews, there will be five judges (the same judges for Round 3; three judges from this round and two additional judges which will appear in Round 5 as a surprise.).

Prizes: Contestants who do not make it to Round 4 will receive freebies or the like.



Only half of the contestants will move to Round 5. This round focuses on persuasive and public presentation skills. The contestants will be paired up. Each pair will be given two questions to respond on-the-spot. The audience will have the opportunity to vote for the contestant that delivers the best presentation. 

Score: The audience will have the opportunity to vote for the winner out of each team which will compose 50% of the score to go with the Judges’ score. The final 6 (3 Males/3 Females) or final 4 (2 Males/2 Females) will be announced live and will move on to Round 5 (second part of the event).



Top 6 (3 Males/3 Females) or top 4 (2 Males/2 Females) contestants will participate in this round. This round is where the contestants will show their overall performance on their passion towards their social issue that was delivered in Round 1. This round will require the contestants to use visual media or theatrical-visual performance to express their vision plan for working on the social issue over the next two years. This round will score the contestant’s professionalism and the quality of performance.

Score: The judges  (5) will score on a set of qualities based on the programs objectives. TWO winners (1 male/ 1 Female) will be announced at the event.

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National Association of the Deaf | 8630 Fenton Street, Suite 820, Silver Spring, MD 20910-3819