Ms. Wheelchair America Advocacy Competition 2022 – Will You Help Me Pay It Forward?

Dearest Friends and Family,

In light of the pandemic still raging on I do hope you were each able to spend some cherished time with your families over the holidays and are off to a great start to your New Year.

As many of you already know I was crowned Ms. Wheelchair North Carolina 2022 in November of 2021. Ms. Wheelchair North Carolina is an advocacy competition aimed at encouraging women with physical mobility impairments to compete in a competition based on advocacy achievements or advocacy goals in order to make their communities more inclusive.

I was humbled to be crown titleholder for 2022 on the platform of Health Insurance Advocacy.  After 11 years of being denied medically necessary equipment I needed to not only survive in life, but to thrive I had had enough.  I decided to take my healthcare into my own hands and taught myself how to write strategic letters of medical necessity backed up by peer-reviewed journal articles and how to navigate the health insurance appeals process.  After a string of my own successes, I decided to take my work national to partner with organizations such as the Christopher Reeve Foundation, United Spinal, Local Elected Officials to introduce legislation in 2022, and am presently working with a large nonprofit to host a detailed step-by-step patient guide to the Health Insurance Appeals Process.  All my efforts are centered around helping those with disabilities acquire the medically necessary equipment they need in their lives so they can live it with the utmost Dignity!

I live by two philosophies in life: Paying it Forward & Human Kindness.

I am now set to compete in Grand Rapids, Michigan in the summer of 2022 against 35 other states at Ms. Wheelchair America.  I’m really excited for all of the tremendous work I have been involved in and partnering with incredible advocates around the globe.  I am writing you today to ask if you would take a moment to help support me in my effort to raise funds to participate in the national competition.

It’s not just about raising funds, but it’s about spreading the word and creating an education campaign to thousands around the globe who are unfamiliar with what these incredible advocacy competitions are all about.  Ms. Wheelchair America is an advocacy competition, not a beauty competition, which celebrates the advocacy achievements of women with physical mobility impairments.  It stands for powerful women with disabilities fighting for change in their communities.

Many of us with disabilities face incredible challenges on a daily basis and many of us still find ways to give back to our community because we simply won’t settle for less!  We are each trying to live our lives with dignity and respect and sometimes we need to push harder for systemic change to make this a reality in our own lives.  This is what this competition is all about and why I have created a Go Fund Me Page.

Please Help me Achieve my Goal, Spread the Message, Share my link, and Follow me on my Journey!

Go Fund Me Page:  https://gofund.me/07049f05

Thank you in advance for your support and I look forward to taking you along for this incredible journey of life I embark on every single day to change the world!

With Love,

Ali Ingersoll

“Let’s Talk” Huawei Tech Accessibility Global Chat

Last week I was invited to be a panelist for the multinational corporation @huaweiUSA for a live stream discussion called:

“Let’s Talk”

YOUTUBE: https://lnkd.in/ems-HR5Y

TWITTER: https://lnkd.in/eygcXfc6

I was surrounded by some amazing Disability Advocates in the community and great friends. We discussed the concept of technological accessibility and a lot of the issues facing many of us with a range of disabilities.

It was such an honor and a really big discussion for me to be a part of.

It’s so important for each of us with disabilities to get our voices out there and offer different perspectives to push corporations to change the way they think about creating their products, and how they affect our global community at large!

Self-Care, Nudism & Balance

“In law enforcement, a lot of what I saw broke my heart.  I’d come home and take my clothes off and just shed the world away,” he (Dwayne) recounts … And while Dwayne’s non-textile appearance this Saturday afternoon might shock some, the reason behind it will come as no surprise to anyone familiar with a common 21st century prescription: self-care.”

Billy Warden, a communication strategist, marking executive, TEDx, TV producer, journalist, fiction writer, to name a few of his many accomplishments, authored the article “A New Attitude: Inside look at the Triangles Naturist community(excerpt above) in The Walter Magazine.

I had the distinct pleasure to dine with Billy and a gaggle of other movers and shakers in the Raleigh, North Carolina Triangle area this past week.  There were so many influential, inspiring, and well accomplished professionals engaging in fruitful banter.

How did I get invited to such a dinner?  I had met each of these people individually over the last several months and, coincidentally, many of them were already well acquainted with each other as many of them ran in the same social, and political circles over the last several decades. 

So, in a very “Ali” fashion I decided to be pleasantly persistent and arrange a dinner with new friends, old and reconnected ones. 

Continue reading

CBS Live Interview – Healthcare Policy Change

I am truly beyond humbled and incredibly honored that CBC17 News crew in Raleigh came out to my home to do a story on Ms. Wheelchair North Carolina 2022 and the efforts many of us are making in trying to reform healthcare policy within the insurance system.

“Self Advocacy” is the single driving mission I have in my life to help others with disabilities not only survive in their life, but thrive through aiding them in getting the medically necessary equipment and services they need in their own lives!

This will always be a long-term advocacy project of mine and I will not stop until we see systemic change, but in the meantime, we need to navigate the broken system we presented with, which takes a village of disability advocates standing up for the masses!

Without Further Ado:

My Journey of Being Crowned Ms. Wheelchair North Carolina 2022

The culmination of my life’s work thus far to being crowned Ms. Wheelchair North Carolina 2022 in November 2021 is one of seemingly insurmountable obstacles, determination, support, and unrelenting determination …

… People frequently question how I have arrived to where I am today to be a professional, disability advocate, mentor, and a ferociously “Pleasantly Persistent” woman with the motto: “NO is just a starting negotiation point.”

…. Through all of this I was approached to apply to run for Ms. Wheelchair North Carolina in November, 2021. I met some incredible ladies who are now lifelong friends and I had such an amazing weekend. My specific platform for the competition was health insurance advocacy for medically necessary durable medical equipment …

… Don’t get me wrong, it’s an honor to have won this competition and I will compete in July 2022 for Nationals, but it really was and is the collaboration between individuals with disabilities that sparks my pure joy! …

…. Here is one quote I live by “Luck is the Residue of Design” – if you design your life in such a way to constantly have opportunities presented to you even if other opportunities fail, you have a higher probability of “Lucky” things happening for you.

With that, wish me luck at Nationals, but the work will not stop over the next eight months.  I have so many big plans, many of which I’m sure will lead me down unfamiliar roads, but I’m making sure I have plans A-Z in place at every turn to course correct in my own life. This is the key to lasting change and success …

Read the rest on Push Living Magazine:

ABC 11 – News Story – Ms. Wheelchair NC 2022

I’m so honored and extremely grateful for a shout out from the team, especially Diane Wilson, at abc11 News on the healthcare advocacy work I am working on in the community and my Ms. Wheelchair North Carolina 2022 title this past weekend !

https://abc11.com/ms-wheelchair-nc-2022-raleigh/11243052/

Independence on the Water – My Adaptive Kayaking Experience

A life with paralysis entails much more than meets the eye at first glance. There are a whole host of secondary complications many of us who are wheelchair users can attest to, myself included, as a C6 quadriplegic. However, this does not stop so many of us from continuing to live our lives to the best of our ability and participating in a community, albeit in an adapted capacity.

It’s one thing to find a job, take care of our bodies, and navigate a system in society that is not yet fully integrated with respect to accessibility. It is quite another, however, to find incredible non-profit organizations around the country whose sole mission is to enrich the lives of those with physical mobility impairments so that those of us with disabilities can enjoy, not just trying to survive our lives, but thrive as well. One such non-profit organization called Bridge2Sports in North Carolina has made it their mission to assist people with physical disabilities to participate in an array of accessible and adaptive sports such as wheelchair basketball, Boccia, hand cycling, kayaking, archery, air rifle, goalball, and golf.

It is organizations like these that allow many of us with disabilities to feel connected, build community, and enjoy physical sports despite our physical mobility limitations. The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation offers Quality of Life Grants to organizations such as Bridge2Sports to enrich our lives beyond our daily responsibilities.

Read the rest on the Christopher Reeve Foundationhttps://www.christopherreeve.org/blog/life-after-paralysis/independence-on-the-water-my-adaptive-kayaking-experience

PODCAST with Kevin Lowe

I was the guest on a super cool podcast with the most amazing gentleman named Kevin Lowe.

Kevin has an incredible story in his own right and he certainly makes the most of life with his incredibly quirky, and hilarious sense of humor.

Kevin too, shares a disability with me, but his is in the realm of sight. He is blind and has navigated his life so eloquently, with grace, and a ton of humor.

We had such a fabulous time during this podcast that I felt like I was chatting with an old friend who I had known for years!I would love for you to check out his podcast and start listening to him!

Balancing Disability Advocacy & A Professional Career

I’m super honored to be a contributing writer to the CHRISTOPHER & DANA REEVE FOUNDATION.

When you believe in something larger than yourself, it’s quite extraordinary what you are able to accomplish. After becoming a complete C6 quadriplegic in 2010, it took me quite a few years and multiple long stents in the hospital to come to the realization that I simply had to find a coping mechanism for living an entirely new life in a very different body.

Read the rest …

Balancing disability advocacy & a professional career – Reeve Foundation