Where we began, what
In 1972 a Columbus, Ohio physician, Dr. Philip K. Wood, who devoted his career to the treatment and rehabilitation of people with disabilities, was aware of the talent, capabilities, determination, and courage of the disabled. This physician established Ms. Wheelchair America as a forum for the promotion of the achievements, as well as the needs, of people who are wheelchair mobile. There are events currently held in approximately 30 states throughout the US. These non-profit programs are staffed and coordinated by volunteers throughout the country dedicated to increasing public awareness so that all of its citizens will be able to lead productive and meaningful lives. The Ms. Wheelchair Kansas program was started in 2004 and held its first annual event in 2005. MWKS has had nine titleholders since its creation in 2004.
The Ms. Wheelchair Kansas program will annually select one woman, who is wheelchair mobile, that will successfully advocate, educate, and empower all people on a state level.
The Ms. Wheelchair Kansas program is not a beauty contest, but rather a competition to select the most articulate, accomplished delegate who will serve as a role model and spokesperson for people with disabilities in Kansas. This woman of achievement will have the opportunity to travel throughout the state of Kansas educating the general public, business community, legislature, and others about the issues that are of importance to people with disabilities. She will share her chosen platform (or passion) with different groups, interact with the media, and serve as a role model for youth and adults alike. She will also serve as an advocate in the disability community. Her overall message will be one of promoting diversity and breaking down stereotypes against people with disabilities. Her reign will lead to an opportunity to attend the national competition where she will compete for the title of Ms. Wheelchair America.
The competition itself is a three-day event that culminates at the crowning ceremony where the new Ms. Wheelchair Kansas is crowned. This event is not only a competition, but also an occasion that focuses on empowerment and disability pride. Contestants are able to network with each other, as well as our past titleholders, and celebrate the strength of each individual.
During the judging sessions, contestants are scored based on their accomplishments, self-perception, communication, and projection skills. Judging events include two personal interview sessions, a platform speech presentation, and an on stage interview. Many fun activities and informative sessions are also planned throughout the weekend.
- be a US citizen between the ages of 21 and 60
- utilize a wheelchair for 100 % of daily community mobility
- be a resident of Kansas for at least the past 6 months
- marital status is not a consideration
- have not held a title in another state
- be willing to raise money and obtain sponsors for the state and national entry fees
- be willing and able to travel throughout the state - this includes having access to reliable and easily obtained transportation
- be ready and willing to successfully advocate, educate, and empower all persons with disabilities through various opportunities over the course of the year
Contestants will be judged based on the following criteria:
1. Accomplishments- personal achievements since onset of disability only in the following areas:
2. Communication Skills
3. Self-perception / projection
Contestants will be judged during the following events:
two personal interview sessions a platform speech presentation an on stage interview
a printed version of this information
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