Monday, August 13, 2012

Miss Wheelchair USA 2010 – A Role Model for Women with Disabilities

Phaedra Marriott-Olsen has been crowned Miss Wheelchair USA 2010. The Miss Wheelchair USA competition is very similar to the traditional Miss USA contest.  “The largest difference is that we did not do a swimsuit competition,” Phaedra said.  The contestants are judged on appearance, their accomplishments and goals. One of the major differentiators is that they are also judged for the work they do as leaders in the field for women with disabilities. The goal of the Miss Wheelchair America pageant is to promote glamour, self-confidence and community service. “Society just doesn’t think women in chairs are beautiful and the reality is we’re pretty amazing,” Phaedra said. Phaedra became disabled in 1996 after being hit by a drunk driver, but she didn’t let her tragic accident stop her from making strides toward preventing more drunk driving incidents from happening. Instead she took on the position of Director of Services for Mothers Against Drunk Drivers.
Phaedra is an inspiration and a role model for women with disabilities. She now represents others in wheelchairs throughout the country and she plans to travel across the country to attend various events to promote individuals with disabilities. “Just because you have a disability, does not make you a different part of society,” Phaedra said. ”We can still be active, intelligent people in our society. That’s my biggest goal.”

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