An Iowa City-based non-profit group that works to raise awareness on disability issues is launching its first-ever national contest to find a spokesman. Judy Hoit, president of Dreams Incorporated, says the Mister Wheelchair America event will be run much like its counterpart for women in wheelchairs, which is now in its 35th year.
Hoit says they’re looking for men between the ages of 21 and 60 who use wheelchairs for 100-percent of their daily mobility, who "like to talk and make appearances and be able to travel across the United States." She says the winner will be talking to a variety of groups and schools, appearing in parades and all kinds of events to boost the visibility and understanding of people in wheelchairs.
Hoit says it’s not a beauty contest, it’s based on their achievements and accomplishments. They want a spokesman, an ambassador, for people nationwide who have disabilities and to raise awareness about the issues faced by people in wheelchairs. Hoit, a polio survivor who was the national March of Dimes Poster Child in 1954, says the Mister Wheelchair America contest is several months off yet.
The event is tentatively scheduled for the Washington D.C. area later this summer, likely in August. For more information, contact Hoit at (319) 351-8375, visit "www.judyhoit.com" or send e-mail to "firstname.lastname@example.org".