February 2024 in Review

“February has not been as busy as I would have liked, considering it is the last month of my official reign but I still got some advocacy work in and plan to continue my advocacy well into the future.

On February 15th, I had the opportunity to meet with an advocacy group hosted by the Montgomery County Board of Developmental Disabilities called Voices Matter for the second time. This time I showed the advocates my newest book, talked to them about my writing and publishing processes and gave them tips as to how to write their own stories. Throughout the entire speaking engagement, the advocates were giving me compliments and words of affirmation. Even after I told them that I will soon be passing on the Ms. Wheelchair Ohio crown, some of them asked if I could come and speak to their day programs in the future. This was exactly the affirmation I needed because I have been worried about whether or not people will take me seriously as an advocate once I am no longer a state title holder.  It is nice to know that worry was unfounded.

Two days later, I had the pleasure of speaking to the lovely little ladies who make up Girl Scout Troop 3119. I spoke to them about how important it is to embrace differences and accept others. I also talked about how inclusive literature can help people learn to do that. I encouraged them to include their classmates with disabilities and activities in and outside of school as much as they can. I also helped them break down the story of Cinderella by using a story map exercise. After mapping out the story of Cinderella together, I encouraged them not about their own stories and asked questions to help them come up with ideas. A couple of the girls actually read small portions of their stories to me, which were very funny and very imaginative. I had a really great time spending the afternoon with them. I’m hopeful that the girls had as much fun as I did.

I spent a good portion of last Saturday creating a PowerPoint to accompany a presentation that I am going to give to the women who make up Ms. Wheelchair Ohio class of 2024. I am going to give the tips regarding networking and booking speeches, delivering speeches, and fundraising. I am also going to talk to them about what to expect at the Ms. Wheelchair America 2024 competition. I am hopeful that they will enjoy the presentation and that it will help them with their upcoming reigns. Watch the Ms. Wheelchair Ohio 2024 competition this Sunday at 3:00pm on the organization’s Facebook page found here to see who wins the next crown and listen to my farewell speech. Have a speaking engagement that I may be interested in? Know of an advocacy effort I can get involved in? Send me an email at MswheelchairOhio2023AllisonBoot@gmail.com. Thank you to everyone who supported me throughout my Ms. Wheelchair Ohio reign.”