A Year of 'Bliss': Ms. Wheelchair Tennessee Dispels Stereotypes

Jan 10, 2014

Bliss Welch is both Ms. Wheelchair Tennessee 2013, and the first runner up for Ms. Wheelchair America 2014.
Credit Contributed photo/Bliss Welch

If your image of someone in a wheelchair is of someone who is weak and helpless, you haven’t met Bliss Welch, who has been Ms. Wheelchair Tennessee for the better part of a year.  Crowned in March of 2013, she’s spent the past nine months demonstrating for everyone she’s met just how independent a wheelchair user can be. She was also named first runner-up in the 2014 national Ms. Wheelchair America pageant. She's also a graduate student at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, working on her master's degree in accounting, and is the mother of a two-year-old.

Bliss Welch poses with University of Tennessee at Chattanooga University Relations staff members.
Credit Contributed photo/Bliss Welch

"You can be anything you want to," she says in this interview, "if you don't let your circumstances control you."

WUTC first talked to Welch late last summer. In a recent follow-up interview, WUTC's Richard Winham talked to her again and found out how the rest of the year had gone for her. She told him it was “the best year of my life.”

The Ms. Wheelchair Tennessee pageant is currently seeking applicants.  Entries are due by midnight on January 15, 2014.