History

History

Dr. Philip K. Wood dedicated his career to the treatment and rehabilitation of people with disabilities and acknowledged their capabilities and determination when he practiced at Dodd Hall in Columbus. Thus, Ohio was the very first state to recognize a “Ms. Wheelchair” (then “Miss Wheelchair”) representative in 1972. “Miss Wheelchair Ohio,” Julie Cochran-Rogers, used her title to advocate for structural and educational accessibility and break societal stigmas regarding the disabled community – with great success. Appreciation of this state organization’s accomplishments led to its growth to a national level, and Ms. Wheelchair America, Inc. was created. Now, 30 states participate.

[Image description: This black-and-white headshot pictures Julie Cochran-Rogers with short dark hair, wearing a white floral blouse and dark jacket.]
Miss Wheelchair Ohio 1972 – Julie Cochran-Rogers

Former Titleholders

Although there have been many state titleholders, the Ms. Wheelchair Ohio Organization has been rekindled in 2021.

  • 2022: Krista Allison
  • 2020-2021: Laura Sykes (President/State Coordinator)
  • 2015: Jasmine Spradley
  • 2014: Elizabeth Schrack
  • 2013: Jessica Kelbley
  • 2012: Angela Hunter
  • 2011: Margaret Long
  • 2010: Amy Jo Riter
  • 2009: Danielle Brown
  • 2008: Shari Cooper
  • 2007: Jan Mitchell
  • 2006: Carol Tolson
  • 2005: Melissa Melinovich
  • 2004: Rosemarie Rosetti
  • 2003: Betsy Volk
  • 2002: Stacey James
  • 2001: Dianna Warren
  • 2000: Kara Vargo
  • 1999: Lena Smith
  • 1998: Kristina Palmer
  • 1997: Deborah McCreath
  • 1994: Susan Bawman
  • 1989: Lynell Root
  • 1988: LeAnn Kayser
  • 1987: Ida Hagar
  • 1986: Deborah Jakabcic
  • 1985: Denise Weisenborn
  • 1983: Regenia Huffman
  • 1982: Mary Verdi
  • 1981: Stacey Guthrie-Hubbard
  • 1978: Ann Christopher
  • 1977: Joyce Heckman
  • 1976: Carol Sue Cyrus
  • 1975: Kathy Grinch
  • 1974: Joette Campbell
  • 1973: Cheri Henry
  • 1972: Julie Cochran-Rogers