Gary Karp's Good Reading: Disability Awareness Information... and More.
January 5, 2011
In This Issue
Robotics Arrive
Modern Disability Webinars
Quick Links
Disability Data Byte

The number of people with disabilities in the workforce as of November 2010, compared to 69.8% of persons without a disability

Click here to learn more from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Latest Raves
Testimonials Following Modern Disability Webinar Programs.

"Gary provides an excellent overview for those with foundational questions about people with disabilities."
- Deborah Dagit, Merck

"Void of legal fist pounding or sympathetic story telling, Gary gives a refreshingly simple presentation of the philosophies we must embrace in our understanding of modern disability."
- Keri Simmons, San Jose State University

Books by Gary Karp
Life On Wheels
The A to Z Guide to Living Fully with Mobility Issues

From There To Here
Stories of Adjustment to Spinal Cord Injury

Disability & the
Art of Kissing

Questions and Answers on the True Nature of Intimacy
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Join Our Mailing List

Happy New Year to you.

I hope there was a lot of joy for you during the holidays, and that 2011 is rich with hope and possibilities for you.

So, here's the first Good Reading of the new decade.


Robotics Arrive

My Support Might Surprise You, But...

My typical reaction to the marketing of "walking for paraplegics" has been, well, less than supportive. But my relationship with Berkeley Bionics - as consultant and blogger - is something quite different. I'm fully behind these cool people and their recent introduction of the eLEGS Exoskeleton, a walking solution for people with paraplegia.

Berkeley Bionics Logo

The reason I look askance at the others is because they present their walking solutions in a form that I find degrading. Rehabilitation and orthotic solutions for ambulation are typically marketed as a promise to restore my self-esteem by getting me up to eye-level with other people. This is a solution I don't need, since my self-esteem has nothing to do with whether I sit or stand. The implication that I can't feel good about myself on my butt instead of my feet is offensive.

Berkeley Bionics gets this. They have taken to heart my insights into the population of people who, like myself, are living full lives on wheels. Many of us were trained with braces and crutches during our rehab process, and quickly recognized that the wheelchair was a much, much, much better mobility solution. What we care about is extending our possibilities, and quickly discovered that those possibilities do not necessarily exist in the realm of standing upright.

For me, I want to be able to stand up with the crowd at a basketball game so I can still see. I want to be able to get out on trails I can't traverse on wheels. I'd like to be more mobile in crowds and at parties. Practical solutions, not a drive to stand or walk just for the sake of it. 37 years after the fact, walking is not what matters to me.

Living well is all that counts, and Berkeley Bionics' eLEGS exoskeleton technology holds real promise of extending my options in a new way.

So they have invited me to blog on the array of really interesting questions that are evoked by the emergence of eLEGS. I've written about what I imagine it would be like to be on my feet, about the media response, and made the case for continuing respect for the wheelchair. Read my "From Where I Sit" blogs and learn more at the Berkeley Bionics website.

Modern Disability Webinars 

Two Great Programs... and More to Come

You know my main themes by now...
  • Disability is a radically different experience than ever before in all of human history.
  • Millions of people are emerging into a greater role in every level of society.
  • We continue to operate on obsolete models that seriously need to be brought up to date, so we can embrace the immensely untapped resource of people with disabilities.

For years I've been writing, speaking, and leading trainings and workshops on these issues. Thanks to the maturing of new media, I have new ways to spread the wisdom - and for people to easily get the message.

Here's the scoop on my current offering of webinar programs (not just PowerPoint online, I assure you) upcoming this month.

New Paradigm of Modern Disability Logo

An overview of the updated model of disability; what's changed, and how it will look in the real world, especially business and the workplace.

  • Thursday, January 20, 2011, 4:00 p.m. Eastern
Learn more here.

Three Principles of Disability Etiquette logo

Embracing Modern Disability starts with everyone being able to relax! Not a "sensitivity" training, three simple principles get the disability out of the way so the person can emerge.

  • Tuesday, January 18, 2011, 4:00 p.m. Eastern
Learn more here.

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