Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Press Release for Ms. Wheelchair America

December 10, 2007


BOSTON, MA - A new Ms. Wheelchair America was crowned on Saturday, December 1, 2007. Kristen McCosh, 39, of Boston, Massachusetts, was named as the new titleholder for 2008. She will spend the next year travelling across the country doing outreach and advocacy work on behalf of people with disabilities.

“I will be working hard to spread the word about the accomplishments and achievements of people who use wheelchairs. I will also be advocating for vital programs and services that facilitate empowerment and success for people with disabilities, such as employment, access, education, transportation, housing, health insurance, and more,” McCosh said.

Ms. McCosh uses a wheelchair because of a spinal cord injury she sustained in a diving accident in 1983 at the age of 15. She currently works at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston as an Early Intervention Program Consultant helping newly-injured people adjust to life in a wheelchair.

“I try to encourage people in wheelchairs to remain as active and healthy as possible,” McCosh said, adding that she works out regularly at a local YMCA. “My personal platform for the Ms. Wheelchair America competition is ‘physical fitness for people with disabilities,’ because it’s something I believe in very strongly.”

Ms. McCosh has over twenty years of experience in disability issues as an advocate, speaker, researcher, writer, and peer mentor. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BA in English and Political Science from the University of Massachusetts at Boston, and has studied toward her Master of Public Health Degree (MPH) at Boston University School of Public Health. She is currently writing a Women's Fiction novel series featuring women with disabilities as heroines, after having studied in-depth the portrayal of physical disability in literature throughout college.

Ms. McCosh also works as the Editor of "Solutions" e-Magazine, a publication of Hire Disability Solutions, LLC.

“My message is much more about empowerment than inspiration,” McCosh added, noting that people sometimes misunderstand the nature of the Ms. Wheelchair America Program. “This competition is not a dog-and-pony show of pitiful women with disabilities. It is a vehicle for women of strength to get their messages out there. I feel honored to have been selected as a leader among this field.”

The Ms. Wheelchair America competition is not a beauty contest. It is an annual event held to select the most accomplished, articulate spokeswoman to represent the needs and achievements of more than 52 million Americans living with disabilities in the United States. Qualifications for the competition include being a woman between the ages of 21-60 who uses a wheelchair for 100% of daily mobility. Marital status is not a consideration.

Another aspect of Ms. McCosh’s role as Ms. Wheelchair America involves disseminating information and resources to the business, political, and lay communities. She keeps a daily blog with news, events, activities and other helpful information. It can be seen at
www.mswheelchairamerica08.blogspot.com. She is also available for speaking engagements and appearances.

If you would like to schedule an interview or appearance with Kristen McCosh, or if you would like more information on the Ms. Wheelchair America program, please contact her at 617-312-5804 or