GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV)- One of America’s most inspiring competitions is back! Ms. Wheelchair America kicked off on Monday, Aug. 9, and concludes Saturday, Aug. 14. The 50th Annual event “celebrates the advocacy efforts, abilities and accomplishments of 30 women from across the country who use wheelchairs for mobility,” as stated by Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation.
Each year, a winner is chosen based on “advocacy, achievement, communication, and presentation to serve as a spokeswoman for the more than 64 million Americans with disabilities. Each state titleholder will participate all week in virtual workshops on leadership, self-care and advocacy. They’ll also be interviewed by the panel of five judges and deliver a prepared platform presentation.”
Highlights of the competition, as provided by Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation includes:
People’s Choice Award – The public is invited to vote for their favorite Ms. Wheelchair America contestant and support the organization’s mission by raising funds. Each vote is a $1 donation; the winner’s state program will receive 40% of funds raised, and the remaining 60% will go to the national title winner to aid in their advocacy campaign.
Virtual chat with Judy Heumann – Heumann is an internationally known disability rights advocate and is a guest speaker. The internationally known disability rights advocate is the featured guest for this week’s competition. In a live chat featured on the Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital Facebook Page. Huemann discussed her life’s work during a virtual fireside chat with Mary Free Bed CEO Kent Riddle and current Ms. Wheelchair America Hilary Muehlberger.
Live public events – On Friday, Aug. 13, and Saturday, Aug. 14, Ms. Wheelchair America will conclude with two highly anticipated programs via Facebook.
- 6 p.m. Friday – Meet all 30 contestants and learn about their platforms.
- 6 p.m. Saturday – Watch the competition featuring the top five finalists.