Bringing a message of inclusion and inspiration, former Miss Iowa Nicole Kelly will speak at Illinois State University.

Making history as one of the first Miss America contestants to ever compete with a physical disability, Kelly now empowers young people living with a physical disability to understand and accept their difference and educates people on the value of inclusion. Her talk, “Student Access and Accommodation Services Presents: Nicole Kelly” will be at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 27, in the Prairie Room of the Bone Student Center, with a 6 p.m. social hour prior to the presentation.

The talk is free and open to the public. It is part of the Illinois State University Speaker Series.

The host of the YouTube show about, by, and for individuals with disabilities called “Loud & Proud,” Kelly inspires audiences to pursue their dreams and reach their full potential no matter the obstacle or perceived disadvantage. Born without a left forearm, she is one of only a few pageant contestants with a physical disability to vie for the crown. Since then, she has educated audiences around the country to understand that anyone living with a physical difference can and should do anything they want.

Kelly serves as an ambassador for CoApt, which manufactures bionic limbs that allow users to control their prostheses with their thoughts, and as an ambassador for Tommy Hilfiger’s new adaptive clothing line designed for people with disabilities.

The Illinois State University Speaker Series seeks to bring innovative and enlightening speakers to the campus with the aim of providing the community with a platform to foster dialogue, cultivate enriching ideas, and continue an appreciation of learning as an active and lifelong process.