Community News: Unseen & Unspoken

Community News: Unseen & Unspoken

May 2, 2017

To commemorate World Braille Day, the Commonwealth Youth Council launches “Unseen & Unspoken.”

This is a segment of creative expression of the #iamABLE campaign through the art of poetry.

The theme of the competition is “My disability does not define me.”

The theme can be interpreted many ways – writers could focus on achievements and talents they have in spite of a disability, or positive traits they have or have developed as a result of their disability.

The objective of the competition is to raise awareness of the experience and lives of young people with disabilities which are often unseen and not spoken of.

Note that the CYC is taking a broad definition of disabilities to include visible and invisible disabilities such as autism and dyslexia.


Below are the guidelines for the poetry competition:

Who can apply?

Aged 15 – 29 years old

National of Commonwealth country

Applicants with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

One poem per person

Team submissions are permissible but restricted to teams of 3.


15 – 17 years old

18+ years old


Poem must include a title and must not exceed 30 lines in length (not including the title)

Poems cannot exceed/cannot be longer than 400 words

Entries must be based on the theme

Poems must be the original work of the applicant.

Entries must not have been published, published on a website or featured in as a winner in another competition before the 31st May 2017.

Entries must be written in English

Handwritten entries will not be accepted.

Guidelines for submission

For the hearing-impaired: Submissions can be made in written form or sign language that is video recorded. If submission is by video recording in sign language, then it must be accompanied by an interpreter (who does not count as a team member) doing a voice-over. Alternatively the video must have subtitles.

For the visually-impaired: Submissions can be made in braille level 2 (English) or audio and video recordings of the reading of the poetry.

All entries will be judged anonymously so the following information must be provided with submission email: Name of Author(s), Date of birth, Citizenship and Title of the poem on a separate sheet if posted or emailed.

Submission can be made by post to: Commonwealth Youth Council, Commonwealth Secretariat, FAO: Lawrence Muli, Room E101, Youth Division, Marlborough House, Pall Mall, St. James’s, London SW1Y 5HX

Submission can be made by email to: [email protected]

The deadline for the poetry competition is the 31st May 2017 at 1700 GMT.

For further information, contact: [email protected]

Community News

If you would like your event notices or news to feature on our website email us at [email protected] with the subject-line 'Community News'.