Posted on August 10, 2021

Ms. Wheelchair America competition kicks off

Grand Rapids, MI – It’s back! Ms. Wheelchair America resumes this week after the COVID-19 pandemic forced its cancellation in 2020. The competition celebrates the advocacy efforts, abilities and accomplishments of 30 women from across the country who use wheelchairs for mobility.

The 50th annual event, which culminates Saturday, is presented by Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation. Mary Free Bed also is producing the virtual event.

Judges will select a winner 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 include:

People’s Choice Award – The public is invited to vote for their favorite contestant as well as raise funds to support the organization’s work. Each vote is a $1 donation; the winner’s state program will receive 40% of funds raised, and the remaining 60% will go to national organization for future competitions.

  • Click here to learn more about each contestant, and cast your vote for the People’s Choice Award.

Virtual chat with Judy Heumann – The internationally known disability rights advocate is the featured guest for this week’s competition. She’ll discuss 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 – Ms. Wheelchair America will wrap up with two special programs live on Facebook. Watch on the Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital Facebook page.

  • 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.