Gary Karp is an internationally recognized public speaker, corporate trainer, author, and editor.
On the Fourth of July, 1973 Gary was injured in a fall from a tree at the age of eighteen. He broke two vertebrae at T12 and L1, injuring his spinal cord. He has not walked since.
Following surgery and a long hospital stay, Gary was transferred to the Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan where he spent seven weeks of hard labor (as he describes it!) gaining strength and balance, and learning the range of skills and methods he would use to return to the community and live an active independent life.
He graduated with degrees in architecture from the Lawrence Technological University in his hometown of Southfield, Michigan, where he also became a student leader as president of the Lawrence student chapter of the American Institute of Architects.
Having discovered his greater talent and passion in graphic design, he worked for eleven years in the presentation graphics industry, first as a production artist (on one of the earliest computer graphics systems in the early 80s), and then a production manager and vice president.
Gary is the author of three books "Life On Wheels: The A to Z Guide to Living with Mobility Issues," "and "Disability & The Art of Kissing: Questions and Answers on the True Nature of Intimacy," all widely reviewed as definitive guides for people with disabilities. His book of essays by people with spinal cord injuries — co-edited with Stanley Klein Ph.D. — is titled "From There To Here: Stories of Adjustment to Spinal Cord Injury," and will be available again soon as an eBook.
His investigative articles and profiles have appeared regularly in New Mobility Magazine, and he is the former Executive Editor of SCI Life, the quarterly newspaper of the National Spinal Cord Injury Association (NSCIA). Gary's commentaries have been heard on KQED-FM, San Francisco's NPR affiliate.
In November, 2007, he was inducted into the Spinal Cord Injury Hall of Fame as a Disability Educator.
Gary is sponsored by the Christopher & Dana Reeve Paralysis Resource Center for speaking in rehabilitation settings and to university students of physical and occupational therapy across the United States. Visit this page to learn more.
As a corporate speaker and trainer on disability and employment, Gary helps integrate a clear understanding of working with people with disabilities, who are making a historic emergence as productive employees and as consumers in a dramatically transformed society. Visit this page to learn more.
Also an accomplished musician and juggler, he has produced a CD of original guitar music and brings his juggling skills to bear in his appearances as a speaker and in his training. Gary currently lives in Phoenix, Arizona with his Labrador retriever Trilby, where he bakes bread, plays backgammon, and sits in as a guitarist at blues jams.