SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Heather Horwedel is redefining what it means to be a pageant queen. As Ms. Wheelchair New York, she’s spent the past year advocating for a more inclusive community.

Ms. Wheelchair America is a competition based on advocacy, achievement and presentation rather than appearance. Since 1972, the nonprofit organization has been crowning a spokeswoman for all people with disabilities.

One of the first projects Heather worked on after being crowned Ms. Wheelchair New York last March was helping Crossgates Mall make their bathrooms more wheelchair accessible.

Interested in becoming Ms. Wheelchair New York? Here are the requirements.

“While I know a lot about what it’s like to live with a disability, I don’t necessary know how to run a business so the only way we’re going to make changes is to work together,” said Heather.

On March 4th, a new Ms. Wheelchair New York will crowned at Palette Cafe in Schenectady. Heather says she doesn’t need a crown to continue doing the work she started during reign.

If you know someone who might be a good fit for the position, go to the Ms. Wheelchair NY organization Facebook page or Heather’s Facebook page and message or comment. You can also email the Ms. Wheelchair NY State Coordinator Shameka Andrews at