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Ali Stroker Makes History as First Wheelchair User to Win a Tony
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of New York Times

New York Times, June 9, 2019
Posted: June 17th, 2019

On Sunday night, Ali Stroker became the first person who uses a wheelchair to win a Tony Award. This award is for every kid who is watching tonight who has a disability, who has a limitation or a challenge, who has been waiting to see themselves represented in this arena you are, Ms. Stroker said while accepting her statuette for her role as Ado Annie in the Broadway revival of the musical Oklahoma!. Ms. Stroker, a 31-year-old New Jersey native who lost the use of her legs in a car accident when she was 2 years old, also thanked her parents for teaching me to use my gifts to help people. Ms. Stroker accepted the award, for best featured actress, shortly after dazzling the audience with her saucy performance of the Oklahoma! song I Caint Say No. I find it to be fascinating that often people dont think I can dance, she said. Who says that dance isnt turning on wheels? Who says dancing isnt throwing your arms up in the air and grabbing someone elses arms to be propelled across the stage? She also spoke about what it is like to aspire to succeed in an industry where people with disabilities are not represented. Im very aware that when I was a little girl I wasnt seeing anybody like me, and on days when Im exhausted or discouraged about something, that lights a fire, she said. I hope that for young people in chairs who feel that this is too hard, that they see that being in a chair is like getting a secret key to an unknown door that they ... are reassured that anything is possible.

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