Paige Reeves creates a world where those with disabilities can belong
Job Title: Senior Leader of Research and Social Innovation, Action Lab, Skills Society
Paige Reeves was raised with eight adopted brothers and sisters, each with intellectual or physical disabilities. Growing up, she noticed inequities in the way society treated them.
“They weren’t connected with other people. They didn’t have friendships. Their intimate relationships weren’t valued,” she says.
This instilled a commitment to help people with disabilities live more fulfilling lives. Reeves completed the Disability Studies program at the University of Calgary and Occupational Therapy at the University of Alberta, and is pursuing a PhD researching belonging for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, also at the University of Alberta.
She also co-stewards Action Lab, a social innovation consultancy, and leads social change projects out of Skills Society, a disability rights and service organization that supports people with disabilities in everything from shopping to building friendships.
“Part of my purpose is to make the community better for the people that I love. I see the humanness in people with intellectual disabilities. I want for them what you and I have and take for granted,” she says. “Sometimes they don’t know what else could be out there for them, but if we dream a little bigger, we can see there’s so much more, and we don’t have to settle for just good enough.”