AOK Cover
Spring is Springing
March, 2008
In This Issue
The Disabilities - CP
Life On Wheels II
Presentation Tips
Client Testimonial
Quick Links
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The gardens are coming back to life! Soon the backyard lawn won't be muddy from our Northern California winter rains, and I can start wheeling out there to share poop patrol duties again.

I'm sure you're thrilled to know this.

Happy March!

The Disabilities

About Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a childhood disability that affects the motor control centers of the brain. It is not progressive, not contagious, has no effect on sensation, is not specifically associated with lower I.Q., and - for absolutely sure - is not terminal.

Parade Magazine needed to understand this better when, in their March 9, 2008 issue, they referred to actor Chris Cooper and his wife as having had a child who "died of cerebral palsy."

For some CP is barely noticeable as a limp or a mild speech impairment. For others, muscle spasticity can be so significant that walking, manual dexterity, and speech are all but impossible.

In the past people with significant CP were assumed to be "mentally deficient," such as someone like Neil Jacobson, who has spasticity and affected speech from CP. Neil is a Vice President in charge of computer operations at Wells Fargo Bank and a widely-respected disability advocate.

Not so long ago he would have been parked in an institution. That would have made it a lot harder for him to achieve his good marriage with Denise (a woman with CP) and their success raising a son together. (Check out Denise Sherer Jacobson's excellent memoir, "The Question of David".)

Two important etiquette points with impaired speech: 1. Don't pretend you understand (they'd rather repeat themselves in the interest of being heard, assuming you make the reasonable effort to listen well); and 2. Don't complete their sentences (they get to speak for themselves, and you're likely to get it wrong anyway).

The Speech To Speech National Relay Service allows people with CP to make phone calls through operators who are trained in understanding their speech, who then voice their speech to the call recipient on the other end.

Any particular disability you'd like to understand better? Email me to let me know.
Life On Wheels II Is Coming!

LOW2 CoverSecond Edition
in Production

The manuscript for Life On Wheels, my first book - and definitive guidebook to the wheeled mobility experience (that's what the reviewers said!) - is in the hands of my new publisher Demos Medical Publishing, in the works for release this July!

It's been brought up to date, tightened up, and sports a new cover and subtitle: "The A to Z Guide to Living Fully with Mobility Issues."

I am so, so pleased that Life On Wheels will have a second life, after my original publisher,
O'Reilly & Associates, dropped their consumer medical series, Patient-Centered Guides. They decided to keep their focus only on technology publishing - which they do so well.

Choosing A Wheelchair was also dropped, but there is still inventory, long after Life On Wheels sold out.

Significant excerpts of Life On Wheels are on my web site in the meantime. You'll certainly hear when LOW II is ready for your shelf. As a newsletter subscriber I'll make you a special offer for a signed copy when the time comes.
Presentation Tips

PowerPoint Logo PowerPoint - Is It For Them, Or You?

The concept is "Speaker Support." PowerPoint - or whatever you use for presentation graphics - is supposed to reinforce the information you're sharing.

Is that what you do with it? Or do you use it as a prompt for yourself?

Worse yet, do you read your PowerPoint slides to the audience? (Just. Don't.)

If you need something to prompt you during your talk, use paper. Reading off the screen is boring (frankly) and also makes you turn away from the group. They get your message better when you face them and make eye contact.

Keep your slides simple with minimal text. Otherwise you're dividing people's attention between trying to read what's on the screen and listening to you. They can't do both at once.

And the more text on the screen, the less likely anyone in the back can read them at all. More type, smaller font.

Bullets are simply to keep people oriented to the point you're on. Use as few words as possible, and no more than five per bullet.

Learn how to use the "build" feature to bring up one point at a time. Again, it limits distraction. You'll find it in Slideshow: Animations: Custom...: Options.

Better yet, consider simply using a large title. I often use a single word or an image on the screen as I speak. Just as often, I use nothing.

These rules are violated on a vast scale, as well-intentioned presenters fail to communicate their important information and insights. With these few simple methods, the power of your presentations will explode!
Client Testimonial

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

On February 6, 2008 I spoke to 100 people at the EPA in San Francisco. My host, Bridget Coyle, is the Director of the Office of Civil Rights, Region 9. She wrote:

"Gary Karp provided a one hour presentation titled, 'From Disability to Workability,' and he was such a
sensational/polished speaker that he blew our audience away - it was a phenomenal hit. The written feedback from attendees was truly exceptional - he moved and inspired every single person. He has a very positive, uplifting message for all people, effectively advocating that a disability is simply a 'feature' of a person, not that which defines (and dehumanizes) a person. My region sets a very high bar for great speakers, and he far surpassed it."
 Studio photos copyright,