'Don't define people by their disability'

Omaha, NE – An author and speaker on disability issues says stereotypes about the disabled harm their independence.

Gary Karp spoke last week at College of Saint Mary. He's a paraplegic, injured in a 1973 fall that broke his back. Since then, Karp's had a successful career in graphic design and written four books on what he calls Modern Disability. Karp says people shouldn't assume that the best way to connect with someone who is disabled is to share a story about a loved one with a similar disability. He says people with disabilities are whole people who treasure their independence, and people shouldn't impose help if it isn't needed.

Karp says the disabled need support and resources to reach their full potential. He says the disabled have many more opportunities now.

More information about Karp and his books can be found at He also provides training for employers on hiring the disabled.