BECOME A CONTESTANT – ENTER TODAY!
State and regional competitions are open from the day after the new winner is crowned, until May 20 of the new pageant year. To apply, a contestant must
complete an national application package and submit it for judging. If she is selected to represent her state or region, she will then move on to the national competition, held each July in Northeast, Ohio.
At this time, all state and regional representatives are selected through a judged application process. The entry fee for a state or regional competition is $300. The National Judges Panel scores the application packages using the same criteria used at the national competition.
REQUIREMENTS FOR CONTESTANTS
• Contestants must be a woman or must identify as a woman full-time.
Contestant must be age 18 and older by July 30, of the pageant year. There is no “age limit” in this competition!
• Contestants should utilize a wheelchair or other mobility device as their main source of mobility, however, this program DOES NOT exclude women who may be able to utilize their legs.
• Contestants must be residents or students in their state or region for two months when they apply to compete.
• Contestants may be married, single, or divorced.
• Contestants may have children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, or no children.
• Competitions include interviews, platform speech, evening wear, marketing statement presentation, and on-stage questions.
Competition begins when a woman enters a state or regional competition. These begin immediately following the crowning of a new Ms. Wheelchair USA, and continue until May of the following year. State and regional titles are selected by an application package competition, judged by a local judge’s panel. Once selected as a state or regional winner, ladies begin preparing for the national, on-stage competitions that take place each July in Northeast, Ohio. Competitions include:
- Private Interview
- Round Robin Interview
- Evening Wear
- Platform Speech
- On-Stage Interviews
- Platform Marketing Speech
- Participation Score
THE JOB OF MS. WHEELCHAIR USA
When a woman is crowned at a state, regional, or national level, there is an expectation of commitment. A commitment to the Ms. Wheelchair USA organization, the mission of The Dane Foundation, a commitment to the platforms of the pageant, and her own platform. The day after the national winner is crowned, a business meeting is conducted with the new winner and MWUSA staff to determine a year-of-service plan. Of course, the plan is considerate of the new winner’s family responsibilities, employment, and educational commitments. While the organization takes all these into consideration, the new winner is expected to make a commitment to the national platform, her own platform, The Dane Foundation and growing the Ms. Wheelchair USA organization. Titleholders are expected to return to Ohio for The Dane Foundation’s events like Window Wonderland and Project Elf, and are contracted to return to the pageant the following July to crown the new winner. All other activities, appearances, and presentations are planned on a mutually agreeable schedule based on her plan-of-service.
MS. WHEELCHAIR USA AMBASSADORS
The women of Ms. Wheelchair USA make an impact throughout the country each year, serving both their platforms and The Dane Foundation. In 2017, the Ms. Wheelchair USA Ambassador program was founded. The Ms. Wheelchair USA Ambassador program provides a long-term title for women who
have competed in the national competition, more than once, but did not win the national crown. The women that are chosen to wear this crown and title have the desire to serve at the national level and become hands-on in the year-long operation of Ms. Wheelchair USA and The Dane Foundation. They become program spokespersons, platform advocates, and occasional stand-ins for the titleholder when she is unavailable.
The first Ms. Wheelchair USA Ambassador, Dianna Warren, was crowned in 2017 and continues to serve each year as a contestant liaison, program representative, and participates full-time in pageant and Dane Foundation programs at an executive team level.