The Ms. Wheelchair Kansas (MWKS) crowning ceremony is scheduled for Sunday, March 3, 2019, 2 p.m. at the DoubleTree Hotel in Lawrence, Kan. The ceremony will be open to the public and free of charge. It will include platform speech presentations by the contestants; a keynote speech from Ms. Wheelchair Missouri, Hilary Muehlberger; farewell from the current titleholders, and crowning of the new Ms. Wheelchair Kansas and Little Miss Wheelchair Kansas. Brittany Moore, with KSNT News in Topeka, will serve as Mistress of Ceremonies.

The mission of the MWKS program is to annually select one woman, who is wheelchair mobile, who will successfully advocate, educate, and empower all people on a state level. This is NOT a beauty contest, but rather a competition to select the most articulate, accomplished delegate who will serve as a role model and spokesperson for people with disabilities in Kansas. The crowned titleholder will have the opportunity to travel throughout the state educating various groups about the issues of importance to people with disabilities. She will share her voice and platform with the community through presentations, public appearances, and interaction with the media. Her reign will ultimately lead up to an opportunity to attend the national competition in July, where she will represent Kansas and compete for the title of Ms. Wheelchair America.

The two contestants participating in the 2019 MWKS competition are Andrea Romero of Wichita and Kynedi Weaver of Olathe. These contestants will participate in a variety of activities March 1 – 3 to prepare for Sunday’s crowning. The contestants will be scored during four different events: two personal interview sessions, a platform speech presentation, and on-stage questions. Judges will evaluate the participants based on their accomplishments, self-perception, communication, and projection skills. The contestants will also take part in a variety of informative sessions on such topics as self-esteem, advocacy, and working with the media, and will experience giving back to the community through a volunteer experience.

Ms. Wheelchair Kansas will also be announcing the new Little Miss Wheelchair Kansas. The Little Miss program gives the younger generation of 5-12 year olds the opportunity to educate, meet people, share their voice, and learn from adult role models. Ariana Hutchinson of Topeka, the current Little Miss, will pass her title onto the next young role model at this year’s ceremony.

The Ms. Wheelchair America Program was created in 1972, and this is the sixteenth year that Kansas will be represented at the national competition. The reigning titleholder, Allison Merriam of Kansas City, has worked in this past year to empower Kansans and spread her platform of “Transformation of the Perception of Disability.” She will say farewell at the crowning ceremony and will pass her crown on to the 2019 titleholder. Be there as we celebrate 15 years, say goodbye to our current titleholders, and crown the new Ms. Wheelchair Kansas and Little Miss Wheelchair Kansas!

For more information, please contact Carrie Greenwood, State Coordinator, at (785) 267-5982 or via e-mail at mswheelchairkansas@yahoo.com. More information can also be found on the Ms. Wheelchair Kansas website at www.mswheelchairkansas.org.

The Ms. Wheelchair Kansas program is sponsored in part by the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation.

Resource Center for Independent Living, Inc. (RCIL) is hiring!  Please review the open positions below:

Transitional Living Skills Specialist(s) – Work part-time with individuals that have experienced traumatic brain injury as they re-learn independent living skills. Training provided. Great hourly pay. In the El Dorado, Potwin, Fredonia, Overland Park, Lawrence, Devon/Fort Scott, LaCygne, and Quenemo areas. Call Tania Harrington at 1-800-580-7245 for more details or request an application by email at hr@rcilinc.org.

Driver/Assistant Technology Assistant  – Work part-time and based from RCIL’s office in Topeka and will drive to and from locations, providing transportation for staff and also delivering and picking-up assistive technology and durable medical equipment as assigned. The Driver/AT Asst. shall focus his/her work complimentary to the spirit and intent of the independent living philosophy.  Requirements include: Ability to drive company vehicles without restriction; ability to lift (and/or team-lift) carry, push or pull up to 150 lbs. Frequent bending, kneeling and reaching; experience that demonstrates organization and planning abilities; experience that demonstrates strong desire to help others; working telephone; and valid Kansas Driver’s License.  Also, communicate with the other staff to coordinate schedule; deliver and/or pick-up equipment to consumer’s homes and other locations; maintain appropriate positive, professional interpersonal relationships with staff, peers, consumers, volunteers and other stakeholders; enter data regarding deliveries and pick-ups in to database; schedule deliveries; and other duties as assigned.  Qualified people with disabilities are encouraged to apply!  Request an application via email to hr@rcilinc.org or fax resume to 785-528-3665 – Attn: HR.

Assistive Technology Specialist – Work part-time to assist individuals with disabilities to participate more independently within their environment through assistive technology including, but not limited to: communication devices, durable medical equipment, and positioning and mobility devices. To apply submit a resume, references and cover letter to: hr@rcilinc.org or call Deone Wilson, Executive Director, at 785-528-3105 to request necessary accommodations to the application process. Qualified persons with a disability are encouraged to apply.