by Cayce McCarthy. Arts and Entertainment blogger.
Miss America is a well-known pageant throughout this country. But there’s a pageant out there that isn’t known as well. This pageant is Miss Wheelchair America, which gives women in wheelchairs to have the opportunity to compete in a pageant to help educate more than 54 million Americans with disabilities. This pageant will begin on July 30th and will last until August 5th. The show will take place in Grand Rapids, Michigan, home of the Miss Wheelchair America president.
As far as the event being televised it may or may not be a nationally televised event but more of a local channel event. The pageant so far only has advocates from 28 states but the president, Shelly Loose, is hoping to expand advocates to all 50 states by the year 2021. The show doesn’t have any rules against these other states competing however, not all states have an independent Miss Wheelchair competition. Candidates from other states are allowed to write an essay explaining their platform on behalf of their state that doesn’t have an official pageant. The national board will choose this woman to represent her state and to coordinate a future pageant for the next representative.
The pageant itself focuses less on beauty and more on a woman’s advocacy, achievement, and personal presentation to help them select why a candidate would be an excellent representative for the disabled community. The winner of the show must be able to discuss the needs and accomplishments of her work not only to the community but the general public, the business community, and the legislature as well. Spreading the word and trying to get the Miss Wheelchair America to all 50 states is only one of the duties of the winner of this competition. The winner must also educate the able-bodied public that there needs to more accessible buildings and eliminating any designs that could act as a barrier to persons with disabilities.
Furthermore, the winner has to educate the public on the achievements of millions of people with disabilities throughout the nation. Much like the winner of the Miss America pageant the winner of this pageant will have the opportunity to travel, to speak with advocacy groups, and has the chance to make public, TV, and radio appearances. Even though there aren’t any rules that women in wheelchairs and with disabilities can’t compete in the Miss America pageant there still hasn’t been one on the show. It’s nice to know there’s a show that is out there to represent members of the disabled communities and hopefully, this show will expand to all 50 states and perhaps even have a contestant on the Miss America Pageant.