Frequently Asked Questions
How do I register myself/my child?
Visit the registration page on our website. The application is in an online format through Google Forms - Registration for Miss Abilities 2018 is closed but registration will open again October 2018 for Miss Abilities 2019
What are the age categories?
Our age categories are:
7 to 9 - Little Miss
10 to 12 - Preteen Miss
13 to 15 - Jr. Teen Miss
16 to 19 - Teen Miss
20 to 24 - Jr. Miss
25 to 29 - Miss
30 to 34 - Jr. Ms
35 to 39 - Ms.
40 to 49 - Sr. Miss
50 to 65 - Golden Miss
66 & Up - Silver Miss
NEW! Young Men
7 to 12 - Little Mister
13 to 19 - Teen Mister
20 to 35 - Mister
36 to 49 - Sr Mister
50 to 65 - Golden Mister
66 & up - Silver Mister
Do we have to live in Winchester to participate?
No, this pageant is open to anyone living in the four state (Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania) and Washington DC area
What if we can't afford the entry fee?
We know there are many expenses for families with members who have disabilities, we have tried to keep the fee to a minimum. However if you are unable to afford the fee for any reason, don't let that be why you don't register! Please don't hesitate contact us privately and we will find a sponsor for you!
How many contestants are you allowing and what are the contestants called?
This year we are accepting up to 45 contestants. Founding Director Jessi Edwards chose the name Beauties for all female contestants and Gents for all male contestants!
What is the deadline to enter?
The deadline to register for Miss Abilities 2019 is January 1st 2019 or when we reach 45 Beauties/Gents.
What if my child is nonverbal? Can they still participate?
ABSOLUTELY!! Beauties/Gents who are nonverbal can either have a parent/guardian on stage with them to answer questions on their behalf or their even welcome to create a sign to hold up for their on stage intro, question and interview.
What are the different categories the Beauties/Gents are judged in?
Beauties/Gents will participate in four categories, an additional Princess/Prince Award category specifically for those crowned Princess/Prince (not Queen/King) and an optional Sponsorship Queen/King category:
Interview - Before the pageant begins, contestants and their Buddy/representative will meet with the judges for a brief 3 minute interview. Questions will be pulled from registration forms and contestants (or an aide/Buddy) will answer from the heart. This category helps Beauties practice one on one conversational skills.
Showcase Your Ability - Each contestant, or their Buddy/aide will have up to 90 seconds on stage to perform or show something that makes them special - Showing artwork, a favorite book or stuffed animal, showing off great spelling skills, singing, or dancing, etc. This category allows the participants to show the judges one of their abilities that make them unique.
Evening Wear - Each contestant will wear their favorite evening outfit, will be escorted on stage, stop in front of the judges and strut their stuff. This category helps contestants show their confidence through body language.
On-stage Question - After the evening wear walk, contestants will walk to the microphone and introduce themselves. Then an emcee will ask the contestant a question from the registration form for them to answer. These category's help contestants practice public speaking and take pride in themselves.
Prince/Princess Awards - Once the main scores are tabulated, contestants who are to be crowned Prince/Princess will also each receive one additional award/sash in each age category for the following: Best Dressed, Biggest Smile, Most Sassy, Best Interview and Photogenic. All contestants MUST submit a high resolution 5x7 or 8x10 photograph of themselves - This does not need to be a professional photo but it should be either a headshot or from the waist up. This photo is used for our programs.
Sponsorship Queen/King - Sponsorship money is funds collected by each contestant for Miss Abilities, are separate from the entry fee and is now a required category. This is a great opportunity for contestants to build their communication skills, meet business people in their community and learn how to present themselves to others. Every contestant that raises at least $100 will be given a special gift, a Sponsorship Prince/Princess Award will be presented in each age group to the young man or woman who raises the largest amount of money through sponsors in their age group and the overall sponsorship winner from all age groups who collects the largest dollar amount in sponsorships will be named Sponsorship Queen/King and receive a sash, pin, scepter, and a cash prize. Sponsors may be businesses, friends, or relatives. Business sponsors can fill out our form on the website to
What questions will be asked during the interview?
Questions for the interview will be chosen from the list of questions answered in the registration form. Examples of these include: What grade are you in? What are your favorite hobbies/interests? Who do you admire the most and why? Buddies/Aides are welcome to answer questions on behalf of nonverbal contestants.
Is an evening gown or tuxedo required for evening wear?
Absolutely not! Beauties and Vents are encouraged to wear what makes them feel beautiful and confident - whether that means an Elsa costume, a sports jersey, evening gown, Sunday best, etc. is up to them! If a Beauty wishes to wear a gown however, we have connected with wonderful organizations that can donate dresses.
Can the Beauties wear makeup?
Hair and makeup will be provided at no cost to you but it must be kept to a minimum as this is not a glitz pageant. No flippers, hair extensions, or false eyelashes are allowed.
What organization are you affiliated with?
While there are other pageants and organizations with similar names, we are not affiliated with anyone. Jessi Edwards was inspired by her oldest daughter to create this program for local young men and women with disabilities.
What do the Beauties and Gents receive?
All will receive the royal treatment! Each young man and woman receives a tshirt and is teamed up with their Buddy for the day to be their right hand man and help with anything that they needs so parents/guardian can sit back and enjoy their child's royal debut! Hair and makeup is provided and lunch and snacks will be provided as well. Activities will be provided for between categories. When it's time for awards, one Beauty/Gent from each age category will be named Queen/King and will receive a crown, trophy, sash, and flowers. All other Beauties/Vents will receive a crown, trophy, one Prince/ss Award sash and be named Prince/ss.
How old do Buddies have to be and who can be a Buddy?
For liability reasons, Buddies must be 18 and older because they will be responsible for their contestants (a parent or guardian will need to be available to be backstage as well if needed)
Which disabilities qualify?
Young men and woman with ALL types disabilities are welcome to sign up as a contestant, both visible and invisible
I don't have any friends/family who are entering but I want to help, how can I?
There are SO many great ways you can help! One is to sponsor a contestant - for just $40 you can help her be a princess for a day! You can be a business sponsor and help cover the fees for crowns, trophies, the venue, lunch, decorations, etc so that the contestants fees can go toward the cash prizes for the winners! You can sign up to volunteer the day of and be an usher or Buddy. You can pass out fliers and help advertise!
How can businesses help?
There are many opportunities for the business community to help. Businesses may help by offering product, service, or they may choose to sponsor the pageant. Sponsorship levels are explained at http://missabilities.org/sponsor-info/