Advocating for people with disabilities

Robert Watson

thumbnail_20181110_213942Dara Branford of North West, DC was crowned Miss Wheelchair District of Columbia 2019 on November 10, 2018 at the Rockville Hilton.

Ms.Branford became Ms. Wheelchair District of Columbia after a full day of competition which included workshops, private interviews, and a platform speech. She will now serve as District of Columbia’s titleholder for one year and will prepare to represent and compete in the Ms. Wheelchair America 2019 pageant in Little Rock, AR, on July 1 – July 7, 2019.

The Ms. Wheelchair District of Columbia and Ms. Wheelchair America organizations do not judge beauty. Instead, the Ms. Wheelchair District of Columbia and Ms. Wheelchair America organizations focus on advocacy and recognizing the free spirit and accomplishments of women who use wheelchairs.

Throughout her reign, Ms. Branford will serve as a spokeswoman throughout the state where she can discuss awareness, acceptance and the overall understanding of disabilities with the general public. She will have the opportunity to travel across the state, visit advocacy groups, make public appearances, including possible parade appearances,
and is available to conduct interviews.

Ms. Branford will also use her year as Ms. Wheelchair District of Columbia 2019 to share her platform: Communicate, educate, participate, and feel great! With her platform, she plans to encourage and foster open communication between individuals with and without disabilities. Ultimately, she hopes to highlight and raise awareness about the value and talents that individuals with disabilities can bring to society. She believes that everyone has unique abilities and wants to encourage others to embrace their strengths, participate in their communities, and reach for their dreams.

Ms.Branford uses a wheelchair for mobility due to her illnesses. She, however, has not let these circumstances stop her. Ms.Branford lives life to the fullest and aims to shine a positive light on disabilities. Through advocacy and education, she sets an example for other individuals who also use wheelchairs for mobility.

Prior to her becoming ill in October 2015, Branford had just begun her first year in college, fall semester, at MCC. Currently she resides at home with her mother and fur baby, trying to keep herself occupied by doing many things. Such as, drawing, reading, painting, learning languages, making videos, singing, and much more. She was very active before becoming ill, and would love to volunteer at Turkey Thicket Rec. Center, FedEx Field, and working or the National Ballpark. Still high spirited as ever, she continues to make the best of whatever she puts her mind too, and does it wholeheartedly and with a smile. She looks forward to talking and sharing her story with other, spreading a message of loving yourself, being who you are, and growing confidence. She is excited about her reign and is available for appearances.

If you would like more information about Ms. Wheelchair District of Columbia or to schedule an interview with Dara Brandford please contact her coordinator by phone at 240-426-7504 or email at shadog31@msn.com

MS. WHEELCHAIR MARYLAND CROWNED

Wanda Hawkins-Barber of Capital Heights, MD was crowned Ms. Wheelchair Maryland 2019 on November 10, 2018 at the Rockville Hilton.

Barber became Ms. Wheelchair Maryland after a full day of competition which included workshops, private interviews, and a platform speech. She will now serve as Maryland’s state titleholder for one year and will prepare to represent the state of Maryland and compete in the Ms. Wheelchair America 2019 pageant in Little Rock, AR, on July 1 – July 7, 2019.

The Ms. Wheelchair Maryland and Ms. Wheelchair America organizations do not judge beauty. Instead, the Ms. Wheelchair Maryland and Ms. Wheelchair America organizations focus on advocacy and recognizing the free spirit and accomplishments of women who use wheelchairs.

Throughout her reign, Barber will serve as a spokeswoman throughout the state where she can discuss awareness, acceptance and the overall understanding of disabilities with the general public. She will have the opportunity to travel across the state, visit advocacy groups, make public appearances, including possible parade appearances,
and is available to conduct interviews.

Barber will also use her year as Ms. Wheelchair Maryland 2019 to share her platform: Communicate, educate, participate, and feel great! With her platform, she plans to encourage and foster open communication between individuals with and without disabilities. Ultimately, she hopes to highlight and raise awareness about the value and talents that individuals with disabilities can bring to society. She believes that everyone has unique abilities and wants to encourage others to embrace their strengths, participate in their communities, and reach for their dreams.

Barber uses a wheelchair for mobility due to a car accident. She, however, has not let these circumstances stop her. Barber lives life to the fullest and aims to shine a positive light on disabilities. Through advocacy and education, she sets an example for other individuals who also use wheelchairs for mobility.

Prior to her accident in …., Barber was a nurse for many years. Currently she works as an Options Counselor for Money Follows the Person, she frequently visits nursing/rehabilitation Centers to uplift residents through her church Ministry and volunteers at the Crescent City Center. Barber has learned to embrace the challenges in her life and will use her new title as a way to continue to raise awareness about disabilities. She is excited about her reign and is available for appearances.

###

If you would like more information about Ms. Wheelchair Maryland or to schedule an interview with Wanda Hawkins-Barber please contact her by phone at 301.536.2716 or email at wlhawk1105@comcast.net

Ms. Wanda

My name is Chelsea Stanton and I am (your) Ms. Wheelchair Maryland of 2018! My mission is to help society understand the importance of giving persons with disabilities the same opportunities as others would expect to receive. My hope is that my personal and professional achievements of disability and animal advocacy will help people in all waves of life understand they are capable of achieving anything. Everyone has a different way of overcoming situations, but as they say, hard work outweighs talent any day of the week!

chelsea