Reid’s life story contains themes of overcoming adversity and the importance of diversity that are relevant to people of any age and ability. Wheelchair Diaries is a mere example of the awareness and motivation that Reid has brought to a wide array of audiences, honing in on his own struggles and perseverance on stage.
When speaking to high school students, Reid highlights the need to go beyond the “contrived beauty pageant”, using personal anecdotes in his speech, “Everyone Has a High School Story”. Reid uses his quick-witted humor and candid demeanor to connect with students and demonstrate that people aren’t always what they seem and that we all have a stake in each other.
“Maybe your significant other just dumped you or you were the only one of your friends that didn’t make varsity or you just generally don’t fit in. In life, ruts are inevitable. But what’s also inevitable is you getting out of those ruts. And when you do so, you will thrive.”
Reid made his speaking debut in January at Illinois State University where he spoke to general population student teachers about his own setbacks and triumphs of school and how to approach students with disability in the classroom. A student teacher in the audience wrote:
“Reid is such an inspiration and role model. I loved the opportunity to hear him speak…I have a new found interest in working with students with disabilities and am excited about looking into travel to Springfield [Illinois] and learning how to benefit students with disabilities further in my classroom.”