The mission of the Ms Wheelchair America program is to provide an opportunity for women of achievement who utilize mobility chairs to successfully educate and advocate for individuals with disabilities.
One of the oldest programs in the country, Ms. Wheelchair America, dates back to 1972 and was the brainchild of Dr. Philip K. Wood, who specialized in the treatment of the disabled.
According to the organization’s web site, mswheelchairamerica.org, this pageant is in no way a beauty contest. Rather, it is a competition to select the most accomplished and articulate spokesperson for the millions of Americans with disabilities.
The selected representative must be able to effectively communicate both the needs and the accomplishments of her constituency to the general public, the business community and the legislature.
Her aim is to increases public awareness of the needs and rights of those with restricted mobility, as well as spread the message that physically challenged individuals can lead active and productive lives.
To be eligible to participate in the annual pageant, a woman must meet the following qualifications:
Marital status is not a factor.
Each year, the crowned winner has the opportunity to travel, visit advocacy groups, make public appearances and conduct media interviews as she carries out her responsibilities of:
Consistent with the Miss America pageant, contestants for the crown compete on the state level first. Many states also conduct junior competitions for girls aged 14 to 20. Like Ms. Wheelchair, the junior pageant winner is expected to be a spokesperson for the disabled and to lead by example.
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