An Iowa program that promotes the abilities of people with disabilities is looking for a new spokeswoman. The deadline is in two weeks for applicants hoping to become the next Ms. Wheelchair Iowa. Judy Hoit, the program’s state coordinator, says contestants need to use a wheelchair for mobility.
Hoit says they must be Iowa residents between the ages of 21 and 60, and be good public speakers. She says contestants from the Iowa event go on to compete in the Ms. Wheelchair America pageant. Hoit is a polio survivor from Iowa City and was Iowa’s first Ms. Wheelchair titleholder in 1996.
The current Iowa titleholder is Luvoria Sanders of Cedar Rapids. Hoit says they’re busy now lining up potential candidates. She says the new titleholder will spend time during the next year addressing audiences across the state in schools, churches and civic groups.
Hoit says contestants shouldn’t be scared by the word "pageant" as it’s not a beauty contest. She adds, the women are judged more on their attitude and enthusiasm, not their appearance. Contestants are judged on their achievements and accomplishments since the onset of their disability. The state contest is April 12th in Iowa City. The deadline to apply is February 16th.
The national pageant, Ms. Wheelchair America, opens July 21st in Rockville, Maryland. For more information, call (319) 351-8375 or send e-mail to "[email protected]".