Head shot of Gary Karp.

Gary Karp in a wheelchair wearing a jacket and tie gesturing with his right hand.

Gary Karp

"We live in a truly transformed world, in which the capacity and potential of people with disabilities to contribute in the workplace has been unleashed — and is still growing."

Real People. Real Potential. was created and produced by well-known disability advocate, author and speaker, Gary Karp.

Paralyzed in a fall from a tree at the age of 18 in 1973, Gary holds a graduate degree in architecture, after which he worked for eleven years in the graphic design industry as an artist, manager, and intrapreneur.

In 1999, he published his first book on disability, Life On Wheels, and has worked as a writer, journalist, speaker, and trainer since, devoted to shedding light on the true nature of the disability experience.

Being deeply rooted in the world of work (since the age of eight, starting in his father's neighborhood drugstore), he is committed to helping employers gain an accurate picture of qualified people with disabilities, whose abilities and potential have exploded in a radically transformed society.

Gary Karp is a clear, passionate communicator, and a rare bridge between the worlds of disability advocacy and the priorities of the workplace.

He has given talks and trainings around the world, particularly in the workplace, where his clients have included Genentech, Microsoft, Sanofi Aventis, the FDIC, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and County of San Diego.

In 2007, Gary was inducted into the Spinal Cord Injury Hall of Fame as a disability educator. 

Melody Benway

Genentech, AA/EEO Sr. Compliance Program Manager

"Your message is a core element to our strategy. You consistently delivered in a thoroughly businesslike and comfortable manner that nonetheless challenges us to be mindful or our personal and professional notions about disability."

Gary Karp speaking, gesturing with his right hand.

Covers of Life On Wheels, Disability & the Art of Kissing, and From There To Here, Stories of Adjustment to Spinal Cord Injury