Sunday, December 2, 2007

Please Read My New Blog From Now On...

Just Click This Link To Be Directed To My New Site:

Ms. Wheelchair America 2008

Since I have been crowned Ms. Wheelchair America 2008, I will not be adding any more new postings on this site for Ms. Wheelchair Massachusetts 2007. However, you can still read about my activities and get valuable information and resources for people with disabilities on my new site: Please check that site from now on for updated blog entries.

Please continue to use this site for background information on my advocacy work, outreach, and activities as Ms. Wheelchair Massachusetts 2007. Also, continue to use the links I have posted here for more information on disability issues.

I'd like to thank all my readers for their input, encouragement, and support along the way! And, as always, feel free to email me with any of your questions, comments or suggestions. My new email address is: (My old email address still works, too.)

Kristen McCosh

Ms. Wheelchair America 2008

Saturday, December 1, 2007

BREAKING NEWS: I Have Just Been Named Ms Wheelchair America, 2008!

Well, the past few days have certainly been a whirlwind of surprising events for me! It hasn't quite sunken in yet, but I am happy to announce that as of today, December 1, 2007, I have been officially crowned Ms. Wheelchair America, 2008...

I have a very busy year coming up ahead of me, doing outreach and advocacy work on behalf of people with disabilities all across the country. I will be working hard to spread the word about the accomplishments and achievements of people who use wheelchairs. I will also be trying my best to get representatives from all 50 states to compete in next year's Ms. Wheelchair America competition.

At the same time, I will be advocating for vital programs and services that facilitate empowerment and success for people with disabilities, such as employment, access, education, transportation, housing, health insurance, and more.

I also hope to inspire people with disabilities to remain as active and healthy as possible by speaking about my personal platform: physical fitness for people with disabilities.

Another big part of my role as Ms Wheelchair America will involve disseminating information and resources to people with disabilities as well as to the business, political, and lay communities. To further this end, I have a new blog which I will update daily with news, events, activities and other helpful information. I welcome you to check it out:

Please feel free to contact me at any time, and be sure to check out my Calendar of Events link at the bottom of the page to find out about my official appearances and upcoming events as Ms Wheelchair America 2008.

Thank you everybody for all the support you've given me... I'm looking forward to a wonderful year ahead!

Friday, November 30, 2007

National Council on Disability Meeting

Yesterday I attended the National Council on Disability quarterly meeting that was held in Boston. It was an informative meeting that had experts presenting information on emergency preparedness, accessible technology, universal design, and many other issues of importance to people with disabilities.

There was a public comment session held yesterday at the end of the meeting where people could add input into the Council report. Many people in attendance voiced issues they asked the Council to consider, such as transportation, rights of disabled parents, brain injury inclusion, and more.

People can add their own written public comment to the NCD at any time via their website:

Above, the crowd attending the NCD meeting in Boston yesterday. Below, I had a chance to catch up with my old colleague Steve Spinetto, Commissioner of the City of Boston's Disability Commission.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Upcoming Event: AAPD Leadership Gala

Wednesday, March 5, 2008
The National Building Museum

401 F Street, NW, Washington, DC

Bringing together leaders from government, business, and the disability and civil rights communities, in recognition of the important work of AAPD and the 2008 award recipients, the 2008 AAPD Leadership Gala will be a celebration of achievement, leadership and progress toward AAPD’s vision of political and economic power for all people living with disabilities in the U.S.

The 2008 AAPD Leadership Gala will celebrate the progress made for people with disabilities and the extraordinary leaders who have made it possible. AAPD Leadership Gala keynote speakers have included: White House Chief of Staff Andy Card, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt, and Transportation Secretary Norm Mineta; the Emcees have been esteemed journalist Judy Woodruff and The Honorable Tony Coehlo.

The AAPD Leadership Gala serves as a forum for recognizing, empowering, and supporting both emerging and established leaders in the disability community, as well as for inspiring and mobilizing all attendees to increase their advocacy in support of realizing the promise of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Recipients will be selected through competitive national processes to accept the following prestigious awards, all of which will be presented at the Gala:Paul G. Hearne/AAPD Leadership Awards – two $10,000 cash awards are given to emerging leaders in the disability community. Henry B. Betts Award - one $50,000 cash award is given to an established disability community leader whose lifetime work has been devoted to improving the quality of life of people with disabilities. Linda Chavez-Thompson Award - an award designated for an individual for his/her leadership towards inclusion of people with disabilities and their families within the labor movement.

Founded in 1995, AAPD is now the largest cross-disability membership organization in the United States, working toward the economic self-sufficiency and political power for the more than 50 million Americans with disabilities. AAPD organizes the disability community to be a powerful force for change – economically, politically, and socially.

For additional information, please contact:Mariana Nork (202) 457-0046 (V/TTY), Email Mariana Nork,or Kelly Mills at Hayes & Associates: (703) 714-2366,

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Internship Opportunity For Students With Disabilities


For the seventh year in a row, the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation (MEAF) and the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) are offering a Congressional internship program for undergraduate students with disabilities.

The MEAF-AAPD Congressional Internship Program provides an opportunity for students with disabilities to work on Capitol Hill for eight weeks (or in some cases with a Federal agency) and acquire valuable work experience that will enrich their academic studies.

Applications must be received by 5:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) on Friday, December 14, 2007. For further information, guidelines, and application, visit Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation-AAPD Congressional Internship Program