Bringing up Gary Karp’s name in the disability community is akin to talking about Joe Montana or Vince Lombardi with a bunch of football fans. With over 40 years of disability education, advocacy and leadership on his resume, Karp’s legacy is known far and wide. Heck, he was even inducted into the SCI Hall of Fame in 2007. Karp will now bring his expertise and insight to United Spinal, as the newest member of the board of directors.
Karp, 61, comes to United Spinal on the heels of a highly successful 11 years where the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation sponsored him to educate people working with and around disability about how best to work with the SCI/D community and people dealing with new injuries. During that period, Karp spoke at 70 universities and 25 rehab centers and helped thousands of future professionals, while also honing his own understanding of disability.
Despite ending his affiliation with the Reeve Foundation, Karp continues to speak, write and train others about disability. His books, Life on Wheels, From There to Here and Disability and the Art of Kissing, are available online and remain must reads years after publication. At the root of much of his work, is his gift for telling stories and his understanding of their power and potential to change the way others think about disability.
“I’ve always tried so hard to tell my story in a way that gets across the universal lessons of disability, that human beings are adaptable in our nature and everybody wants to find their way to be OK with themselves and what’s pos