In a society that often fixates on differences and limitations, it is crucial to recognize and celebrate the strength and resilience of individuals with disabilities. Melinda Preciado, the 2022 Ms. Wheelchair Oregon America, has fully embraced her role as an advocate for the disability community. Her inspiring journey began just over two years ago when she became a wheelchair user and an above-knee amputee following a life-altering event. This experience ignited Melinda’s passion for raising awareness and promoting accessibility for all.
Melinda’s platform, “Adapting America for All,” aims to create a more inclusive and accessible society for individuals with disabilities, both visible and invisible. Through her advocacy work, Melinda sheds light on the urgent need for inclusive infrastructure and societal changes. She champions the rights of people with both visible and invisible disabilities, including her own son with autism, striving to foster a society that recognizes and accommodates their diverse needs.
Melinda’s efforts go beyond raising awareness. She actively promotes practical changes that can significantly enhance the daily lives of individuals with disabilities. By engaging with senators, mayors, and officials, Melinda emphasizes the importance of modifying public spaces with accessibility in mind. She believes that true change occurs when individuals witness the challenges firsthand, and she has proven this by sharing her personal experiences during meetings and encounters with inaccessible facilities.
Furthermore, Melinda’s advocacy work has created a supportive community where individuals with disabilities and their allies come together. By attending the events she organizes and participates in, supporters have the opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals, exchange ideas, and contribute to a collective movement for change.
Melinda’s visibility as Ms. Wheelchair Oregon and Ms. Wheelchair Oregon USA (2023) has a profound impact on individuals with disabilities. By seeing someone like themselves in a position of influence, they gain hope, inspiration, and a renewed sense of self-worth. Melinda’s presence in parades and public events signifies that disability does not diminish a person’s ability to shine.
Supporting Melinda’s efforts through gifts or monetary donations empowers her to continue advocating for accessibility and inclusivity. Such contributions directly fund her projects, events, and campaigns, enabling her to reach more people and make a greater impact. Collaboration and partnerships are also essential components of Melinda’s advocacy work. By joining forces, individuals and organizations can combine their strengths and resources to create a more accessible and inclusive America.
Ultimately, every act of support and every step towards a more inclusive society creates a ripple effect. By embracing the ethos of “We Are All Warriors” and actively contributing to Melinda’s cause, we become part of a movement that celebrates the strength and resilience of individuals with disabilities. Together, we can foster a society that values accessibility, inclusivity, and equal opportunities for all.