Advocating for people with disabilities

Ms. Wheelchair Maryland


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

Ms. Wanda

gaskinsKimberly Jordan-Gaskins was born and raised in Washington DC. Kimberly attended the Duke Ellington School of the Performing Arts under the vocal instruction of Ms. Monica Otal and Mr. Edward Jackson.

Continuing her vocal training, Kimberly attended Kent State University majoring in Vocal Music Performance. Shortly after her first year of college, Kimberly was involved in an automobile accident that left her paralyzed from the waist down, however determined to overcome, Kimberly endeavors to pursue her career as a soloist.

Five words that describe Kimberly best are as follows: confident, virtuous, approachable, purpose driven, and fervent.

Ms. Wheelchair Maryland 2014, Shani Watson

A native Washingtonian, Shani graduated from Eastern High School and completed her Bachelor of Science in Management at the University of Phoenix in 2001.

 Having an interest in law enforcement, Shani worked as a civilian Secret Service employee. She also satisfied her interest in medicine by serving in the Army Reserves as an Operating Room Technician at Walter Reed Medical Center for two years. 
Shani joined the Washington Tae Kwon Do club where she learned the traditions and the techniques of the hand and the foot. Her athletic ability and keen understanding of Tae Known Do allowed her to become one of the lead Kick Boxing Aerobics Instructors within the Tae Robics Fitness Program. She then went on to become an independent Group and Personal Trainer.

Learn more about Shani …

Patrina Franklin, Ms. Wheelchair Maryland 2013

I would like to give a big thank you to everyone involved with making Ms. Wheelchair Maryland possible. I am truly blessed and honored to have been crowned Ms. Wheelchair Maryland 2013. During my weekend stay at the Hilton Hotel in Rockville, Maryland I was able to create memorable and meaningful friendships with the other contestants. I’m sure this is only the beginning of many more adventures to come with these ladies. I’m proud to say my strong determination and ambition paid off as this was my second time running for the title.

Follow Patrina’s Year …
Learn more about Patrina …