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View Full Version : Ms. Wheelchair Wisconsin stripped of title because she can walk!


Helas
Apr 5th, 2005, 12:47 PM
APPLETON (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7355320), Wis. - Ms. Wheelchair Wisconsin has been stripped of her title because pageant officials say she can stand — and point to a newspaper picture as proof.


Janeal Lee, who has muscular dystrophy and uses a scooter, was snapped by The Post-Crescent newspaper standing among her high school math students. The photo was not an expose.

“I’ve been made to feel as if I can’t represent the disabled citizens of Wisconsin because I’m not disabled enough,” Lee said Thursday.

Lee, 30, of Appleton, had planned to go to the national pageant with her younger sister, who also has muscular dystrophy and won the competition in Minnesota.

Students at Kaukauna High School, where Lee teaches, raised $1,000 for her trip to the national pageant.

The move by the state pageant officials, led by coordinator Gina Hackel, is supported by the national board.

Candidates for the crown have to “mostly be seen in the public using their wheelchairs or scooters,” said Judy Hoit, Ms. Wheelchair America’s treasurer. “Otherwise you’ve got women who are in their wheelchairs all the time and they get offended if they see someone standing up. We can’t have title holders out there walking when they’re seen in the public.”

Hackel said Lee should have been aware of the rules.

The crown now goes to first runner-up Michelle Kearney of Milwaukee, who will travel to New York in July for the national pageant.

http://www.newsobserver.com/images/xtq_photos/2005-1/xtq_20050402-images/reg-854254-519000.jpg

AP Photo by Kirk Wagner

Officials of the Ms. Wheelchair Wisconsin pageant cited this photo in stripping Janeal Lee of her crown. Lee is pictured helping one of her students with a math lesson.


It's a miracle!:lol:

Bankhead Bounce
Apr 5th, 2005, 05:35 PM
http://www.newsobserver.com/images/xtq_photos/2005-1/xtq_20050402-images/reg-854254-519000.jpg

AP Photo by Kirk Wagner

Officials of the Ms. Wheelchair Wisconsin pageant cited this photo in stripping Janeal Lee of her crown. Lee is pictured helping one of her students with a math lesson.

She's leaning on the desk for support, you damn haters! :fiery:

The Crow
Apr 5th, 2005, 06:15 PM
This is a funny and sad story at the same time :lol: :sad:

Crazy Canuck
Apr 5th, 2005, 07:49 PM
This is ridiculous. A lot of individuals with physical disabilities who are confined to wheelchairs most of the time do have minimal use of their legs. I don't understand how it's just okay to exclude these people from activies such as this. That gives the message that not only are they "like everybody else", but they aren't "disabled enough" to fit into the "disabled community" either.

Ugh. This is disgusting, imo.

Z Commando
Apr 5th, 2005, 08:05 PM
:lol:

Rocketta
Apr 5th, 2005, 09:23 PM
I don't even know what to say about that. :speakles:

Wigglytuff
Apr 5th, 2005, 09:30 PM
This is a funny and sad story at the same time :lol: :sad:

my thoughts exactly. :tape:

Crazy Canuck
Apr 6th, 2005, 03:31 AM
Maybe I'm just being "overly" sensitive because I've worked with individuals who spend more of their time in a wheelchair but can do limited things with their legs, but I don't find this even remotely amusing :shrug:

harloo
Apr 6th, 2005, 03:43 AM
While I think it's cruel to take away her title those running the competition must keep the integrity of the contest in tact. So, IMO they rightfully disqualified her on the basis that she did not meet the qualifications according to the rules.

selking
Apr 6th, 2005, 03:45 AM
thats crap, my friend has hyperkalemic temporary paralysis and can walk half the day and not the other but that makes her not disabled?

Crazy Canuck
Apr 6th, 2005, 04:17 AM
While I think it's cruel to take away her title those running the competition must keep the integrity of the contest in tact. So, IMO they rightfully disqualified her on the basis that she did not meet the qualifications according to the rules.
Frankly, I don't think that a competition for individuals with disabilities, that discriminates against people on the basis of their disability had much integrity in the first place.

Candidates for the crown have to “mostly be seen in the public using their wheelchairs or scooters,” said Judy Hoit, Ms. Wheelchair America’s treasurer.

"Mostly" seems to be the operative word here. Perhaps I'm missing something, but I don't see how her wandering around a classroom - where free space is limited, it owuld be extremely difficuly to navigate in a wheelchair, and there are constant supports should she require them - is defying this rule :shrug: If she walks around at her public appearances then I could see how she violated the rule... but even then, I think the rule itself is discriminatory. Which is ironic, considering the nature of the event.

I'd email these people if I had nothing better to do and thought that they might actually give a damn. Somehow, I doubt that they do, since it takes a small minded person to discriminate like this. ;)

Mariangelina
Apr 6th, 2005, 10:29 AM
Yeah, it seems so silly and yes, discriminatory to decide the poor lady's somehow "not disabled enough" to enter that stupid contest. So you're "able-bodied" or whatever dumb word is en vogue now if you can stand up for a few minutes leaning on a desk? It certainly sounds like she uses a wheelchair as her primary method of locomotion. What more do they want?

And how the hell is one's workplace of a classroom public? If where she teaches is anything like where I go to school, you can barely manuever your butt between desks while walking. It is damn near impossible to be able to move throughout most high school classrooms in a wheelchair.

I assume this contest is supposed to be against discrimination, showing women can be beautiful whether they can walk or not, but like most other beauty pageants, it discriminates against its own contestants. :smash:

Grachka
Apr 6th, 2005, 11:09 AM
Candidates for the crown have to “mostly be seen in the public using their wheelchairs or scooters,” said Judy Hoit, Ms. Wheelchair America’s treasurer. “Otherwise you’ve got women who are in their wheelchairs all the time and they get offended if they see someone standing up. We can’t have title holders out there walking when they’re seen in the public.”

What a load of bollocks this Hoit woman talks! Firstly this photograph was taken while Lee was teaching, at a workplace, how on earth this can be a considered public is beyond me. Secondly, what was all that crap about wheelchair-bound people being offended by people who are able to walk a little? I have a friend who is wheelchair bound at all times, and I would tell her to change her medication if she ever claimed to be offended at something as pitiful as that. I can't think anyone of sound mind would resent something like that. Hoit should really be getting her knickers in a twist over the fact that this woman CAN walk, even if its just a little, its not something to condemn.

This deserving woman (and the fundraising pupils she teaches) have been cheated out of something they worked really hard for. That's terrible.