MADISON, Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – A Madison woman is vying for a national title in a competition which celebrates women who struggle with mobility.
Ms. Wheelchair U.S.A. gives a platform to women with disabilities, to exhibit their own kind of glamour. Michelle Beck has the story.
“You have to accept your new normal, and the new normal means you’re going to be living life in a different way using a wheelchair,” said Martha Siravo.
Since a car crash in 2002, Martha Siravo hasn’t been able to walk.
Siravo says she saw many others struggling with mobility too. That included friends, neighbors and even her daughter Jazz.
I want her to have as much access to things, like all the other kids and families around her around us.
She also realized not everyone had, what she had.
Siravo said, “I have the time. And then I had the knowledge, and then I had the networking to keep doing more.”
Her work in advocacy kept growing, then she got this crown. For the last two years, Siravo has been Ms Wheelchair Wisconsin.
“My platform is embrace inclusive education. The individualized part of special education is something that i believe in, with all my heart, and I want to see every student, get the education that they need and deserve,” said Siravo.
Now, she’s in a virtual competition, hoping to be the next Ms. Wheelchair America.
Her *own advocates include 2019’s state titleholder.
Siravo’s set on continuing her work, regardless of titles.
“It’s not about winning, it’s more about learning how to use your voice and then connecting with others around you,” said Siravo.
The Next Ms. Wheelchair America will be announced Saturday.
Whatever the results, Siravo says she hopes to help grow the pageant program in the state.