Welcome to Spring '17 Scholarship



Topic: Please submit a 'visual poem', in a style of your choosing, on the theme of overcoming a personal challenge.

Statement from 1800wheelchair

1800wheelchair is very proud to announce the winner of our Spring '17 scholarship contest. With well over 100 entries, this one stood apart for its interesting visuals and compelling story.

Winning Submission: Personal Statement

Being fully deaf in my left ear and only possessing ninety percent residual hearing in my right ear makes me feel as if I am walking through life unable to see the world around me as others do. In America, possessing a disability makes one appear to be fully handicapped and unintelligent. As a result, I have to adjust myself in class to ensure I am gaining the information taught. I also subject myself to the ridicule of appearing dumb to my classmates in higher placement classes because I constantly ask teachers to repeat statements I cannot hear.

My social environments have also taken a toll because of my hearing impairment. Most of the time I miscomprehend discussions, which causes me to be more of an introvert. I have also been bullied for wearing hearing aids to the point that I chose not to wear them to appear normal. It felt as though I was forced to be bonded with my hearing aids, even though I hated wearing them, so I thought not wearing them would be the ideal solution.

I started to feel stronger and confident when I did not wear my hearing aids. I felt like I was just a typical student without any distinction. I was able to bond with friends more and look the part that I desired. It felt like I had taken control of my own life.

Unfortunately, when I decided to part from my hearing aids I suffered more than I gained in self-esteem. It was even harder for me to understand what was happening in class. I missed a lot of information taught in class, which resulted in me performing lower on quizzes and tests. I also missed a lot of dialogue between my friends. I would say the wrong things and answer incorrectly when they asked me questions. I tried to play it all off with my humor, but this was not the best choice.

Finally, after a long day of school and spending time with friends, I came home exhausted. Not from the many activities I did, but from the tiresome task of listening intently to every word spoken by someone. I came to the conclusion that while my hearing aids did make a stronger person, it still did not satisfy my desires to be normal. And although appearing normal had some advantages, it still was a significant lost. My world around me seemed that of a gray space. A mixture of black and white. Both colors signifying two different worlds. And when combined meant for a lot of compromises. Relationships turn gray in attempts to hear.


Winning Submission: Poem


Relationships turn gray

In attempts to hear.

Words turn to silence,

Remarks turn to remorse,

And happiness blockades my face.

Trapped in a sealed bubble

of a hushed world’s making.

Relationships turn gray

In attempts to hear.

The epitome of the fallen.

The one stared at by the crowd.

Drowning in a sea of sounds

Attempting to swim up

But where’s there to go?

Relationships turn gray

In attempts to hear.

Wearing my oppressor

Day in and Day Out

Unallowed to Part

I’ve been married long

But spoke unsaid vows

Relationships turn gray

In attempts to hear.

I decided to cheat

Which led to more hurts

I’m completely removed, never

Slightly feeling apart...

Relationships turn gray

In attempts to hear.