The mission of Ms. Wheelchair Tennessee is to provide an opportunity of achievement for women who happen to be wheelchair users to successfully educate and advocate for the more than 54 million Americans living with disabilities. Unlike traditional beauty pageants, Ms. Wheelchair Tennessee is not a contest to select the most attractive individual. It is instead a competition based on advocacy, achievement, communication, and presentation to select the most accomplished and articulate spokeswoman for persons 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.
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.
Contestants take part in a one-day program, including workshops and several rounds of interviews by a panel of judges. The program culminates in a formal ceremony to feature the contestants and to crown Ms. Wheelchair Tennessee. At the formal ceremony contestants present their platform speeches and answer fishbowl questions asked by the judges.
Ms. Wheelchair Tennessee is charged with a continuing effort to educate the public regarding the dignity, productiveness and basic values of people with disabilities. She must be able to communicate both the needs and abilities of her constituency to the general public, the business community and government. Ms. Wheelchair Tennessee will have the opportunity to travel and make public appearances. She will ultimately represent Tennessee at the Ms. Wheelchair America Program.