While contestants are showcased in a pageant format, Ms. Wheelchair Tennessee is not a beauty contest. It is a competition, established in 1996, to choose the most accomplished and articulate spokeswoman for people with disabilities across the State of Tennessee.
Competitors take part in a one-day program, which includes workshops and several rounds of interviews by a panel of judges. The day ends with a ceremony to feature the contestants and to crown the new Ms. Wheelchair Tennessee.
Ms. Wheelchair Tennessee is charged with a continuing effort to educate the public regarding the dignity, productiveness, and values of people with disabilities. She must be able to communicate both the needs and the abilities of her constituency to the general public, the business community, and government officials. Ms. Wheelchair Tennessee will have the opportunity to travel and make public appearances throughout the State. She will ultimately go on to represent Tennessee at the Ms. Wheelchair America Pageant.
Ms. Wheelchair Tennessee is a nonprofit organization with no paid staff and few administrative costs. All expenses for hosting the program are obtained through fundraising efforts, donations, and contestant sponsors.
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