Each year, we hold a competition to recognize the achievements of women who happen to use wheelchairs. At the end of the competition, our judges select one of these women to represent the entire State of Tennessee at the National Ms. Wheelchair America Pageant.

Our competition is often referred to as a pageant, but it is NOT a beauty pageant. Contestants are NOT judged on physical beauty. They are judged on accomplishments, communication skills, and self-perception/projection. The fact that they are all gorgeous is pure coincidence!

The Ms. Wheelchair Tennessee competition is typically a one-day event that contains educational workshops for contestants and the public on various issues. There are four judging rounds that include the platform speech, interview sessions, and the fishbowl questions during the Crowning Ceremony. There are even fun things to do!

Each contestant has a unique platform which they focus on throughout the year. The platform is a declaration of the principles and policies which are important to each contestant.

The judges’ interviews contain questions relating to advocacy, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and community involvement. During the fishbowl round, the contestant draws a judge’s name and that judge asks them 2 questions onstage. One question is serious and the other is light-hearted.

Tennessee has three age categories. Ages 6-12 compete for the title of Little Miss Wheelchair. Girls in this age group are not expected to give platform speeches, but will meet with the judges for interviews. Ages 13-20 compete for the title of Junior Miss Wheelchair. Young ladies in this category are expected to give a platform speech. Ages 21-60 compete for the esteemed title of Ms. Wheelchair Tennessee. The winner of the Ms. category goes on to the national competition.