Staff Spotlight: Barb Page
Friday, July 20, 2018
Senior Advocate-Investigator Barb Page began her legacy advocating for people with disabilities in 1988 right after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in social work from the University of South Florida. In 2001, she joined Disability Rights Florida to pursue professional growth and opportunity.
As a child Barb sustained a spinal cord injury and since the age of two has used a wheelchair. She was born and raised in a small town in Maine which only had a population of roughly 4,000 citizens. She discovered her passion for advocacy at a young age when the only McDonalds opened in her town. The new franchise had no way of allowing her access inside the building because it had no ramp and was not accommodating for those who use wheelchairs. She decided to take matters into her own hands and wrote a letter to the company stating her concerns regarding the accessibility of the restaurant. The company took note of this and created a way to allow people who use wheelchairs to have accessibility to the building. From that moment she discovered how she can make a difference in her community and advocate for people with disabilities.
“My mom was my champion. When I was young she made sure I received accommodations at school and ensured I had equal access as all the other kids.” Throughout her K-12 schooling she was the only person with a physical disability, however she was comfortable with that reality because the wheelchair was a part of her identity for so long.
In her 20’s she used to play wheelchair basketball, tennis, and volleyball. She was also a member of Circle K Service Organization at USF.
“I’ve never longed for something different. I’ve never wished to not have this disability.”
Barb enjoys focusing a huge part of her career around compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). “My passionate area of work is the ADA. I am passionate about equal access in places for people with disabilities such as stores, restrooms, and movies. I love assistive technology, especially the high-tech stuff.” One change Barb would like to make in her career is to collectively make systemic changes for the types of cases we see repeatedly.
Barb is married and has a 15-year-old daughter. On her downtime she enjoys hanging out with her friends and family, and going to the movies with her daughter. Barb is also a junkie for reality TV. She spends a lot of time gardening where she enjoys watching her flowers grow. It is what she considers to be her plant therapy. Barb loves the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team and is a huge fan!
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