Ms. Wheelchair Kansas pageant empowers local women with disabilities

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) --- "It gives us a voice to share our struggles and our strengths, and just to show that we're just like anybody else," said Ms. Wheelchair Kansas 2016 Tiffany Walter.

A beauty pageant celebrating the beauty from within.

"It's important for the women to feel empowered because sometimes people look at us with people with disabilities and they make assumptions, and they have some stereotypes, and they also don't know that we are strong, we are accomplished, and we have things we want to say," said State Coordinator Carrie Greenwood.

Women took the stage at this year's Ms. Wheelchair Kansas hoping to change perceptions by sharing their struggles, and their strengths of living with a disability.

"I feel like the unique opportunity that I've been provided with, and all the wonderful people I've met has just opened up my eyes and helped my grow even more," said contestant Deborah Young.

"I hope they take away that they are capable, they are beautiful inside and out, they are capable of doing anything that they want to do," said Greenwood.

Ms. Wheelchair 2016 Tiffany Walter says this past year did just that.

"Personal growth, and confidence that I've experienced, and being able to connect with people in no matter where I've been whether it's the mall or the hospital," said Walter.

Contestants shared their platforms, and answered questions on stage before judges crowned this year's Miss Wheelchair Deborah Young and Little Miss Wheelchair Sophia Beers.

Hoping to instill the reminder that you're beautiful just the way you are, and no matter what life rolls on.

"Never give up, there's always a way," said Walter.

The winners will go on to compete at Ms. Wheelchair America this summer.