The Urbandale woman who carries the title “Ms. Wheelchair Iowa” leaves Tuesday for the national pageant in Florida. Cerebral palsy has forced Jamie Barker to live all of her 24-years in a wheelchair, but she jokes it gets her great parking, front-row concert tickets and first-class airplane seats.Women from 29 states are taking part in the event, which is based NOT on physical appearance but on each woman’s achievements in spite of her disability. Barker has been touring Iowa, talking at schools and with civic groups about the many things people who are labeled “disabled” are able to do. Barker says the chair has never been an enemy.Barker says her platform focuses on the benefits of people in the workforce who are in wheelchairs, zeroing in on their -abilities- not disabilities. The pageant winner will be crowned Saturday night in Fort Lauderdale.
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