About the MWVA Program
a 501 (c)3, non-profit organization
governed by a Board of Directors
operated by Executive Director and Program Directors
as well as many dedicated volunteers...
ALL of which are dedicated to increasing public awareness, removing barriers and promoting a social change, so that ALL citizens will be able to lead productive and meaningful lives, regardless of their abilities. We could not operate without the help of our generous volunteers, sponsors and "Friends."
In 1972, the Ms. Wheelchair America program was established by Dr. Philip K Wood, a physician in Columbus, Ohio who devoted his career to the treatment and rehabilitation of individuals with disabilities through his awareness of the talent, capabilities, determination and courage of people with disabilities. In 1974, Ms. Wheelchair Virginia was formed and ran until 1986...it later was reestablished in Richmond, Virginia in 2001. In 2006, the program was moved to Fishersville, VA and the title weekend/gala continues to be held at Wilson Workforce Rehab Center (Formerly known as Woodrow Wilson Rehab Center).
Titleholders & Ambassadors
Unlike other pageants, Ms. Wheelchair Virginia is in no way an "outward" beauty contest. It is instead a competition to select the most accomplished and articulate spokesperson for Virginians with disabilities. The selected representative must be able to communicate both the needs and the accomplishments of her constituency to the general public, the business community and the legislature.
2015 marked a huge milestone for the MWVA program. We expanded to recognize more women throughout Virginia, as well as to increase the awareness and impact we can have in different regions of the state. Instead of awarding Runner-ups, we decided to crown the ladies as Regional Titleholders to represent their local communities. And then after great interest within communities for a program for teens, we were thrilled to announce our Teen Ambassadors program in 2015! This also helps the young ladies prepare and know what to expect once they turn 21 and have the opportunity to compete at state level.