Every year, Ms. Wheelchair Alabama America holds a contest to crown a new woman as Ms. Wheelchair Alabama. Instead of the traditional qualifiers that exist within beauty pageants, they instead focus on the women’s ability to advocate and educate. Contestants are judged based on their ability to communicate and share positive ideas and information for all disabled people in Alabama. The women, who are all wheelchair users, understand the stigmas and limitations set by society on persons with disabilities. They work hard to act as spokeswomen and role models, each choosing a platform to deliver their message. Last years’ winner, Morgan Morrison, strived to change perceptions through her platform, ‘Strong, Capable, worthy.’ She spoke on the importance and strength of inclusion, working to change the current perception about persons with disabilities. Past and future winners of the pageant all work toward one goal- to act as a spokesperson advocating for the abilities and accomplishments of the nearly 54 million people living with a disability.
This year, Scott Grabner, a CMC at our Huntsville location, will be acting as the Master of Ceremonies for the pageant. After Joanne Pearson, Ms. Wheelchair Alabama 2010, visited his store, Scott struck up a conversation where he learned about the pageant and her experiences. After learning about its purpose and the incredible women that took part, he was inspired to become involved. The woman Scott spoke with happened to be on the board for Ms. Wheelchair America, allowing him the opportunity to easily learn about open positions. When he learned that they were in the process of trying out new MCs, he asked for the opportunity to perform that roll. Soon Scott was able to audition and was approved to be the new Master of Ceremonies in January. In his new role, Scott says he will be doing several different things, from generally facilitating the competition to introducing contestants and speaking between events. He is very grateful to take part in this competition and is excited for it to commence. Scott and Morgan were interviewed by WZDX news in Huntsville, which can be seen here.