Erica Haden practicing walking with Karen in 2001, with permission from her mother Eileen Haden

Karen says, “If I can do it, you can do it, too!”

Do you have a family member with a disability and feel overwhelmed? Are you doing everything you can to help, but they are still unhappy? Have you worked with agencies and experts to get the help you need, but it hasn’t been enough?

Do you yourself have a disability, but you know that there is more for you in life—no matter what anyone says? Are you tired of settling for a sheltered workshop job or a life of daycare and TV, or of isolation and the Internet? Do you want to thrive, not merely survive?

Since Karen was a little girl helping other students deal with their disabilities, she has been an advocate and a coach. As an adult, she has worked with disability rights advocacy organizations for decades. Click here for more about Karen’s advocacy work.

Karen has spent her whole life doing what people said she couldn’t do—fighting against a society and system not made for people with disabilities—and helping others live their lives outside the box as well. Growing up with cerebral palsy and a learning disability, she learned a lot. She loves passing on her knowledge so that others don’t have to go through what she went through, and so she can share the tools she has developed to help live life to the fullest.

Karen calls herself a disability support specialist, but really she is an ability support specialist. She starts and stays focused on what people can do, and she treats her clients with dignity and respect.

For Karen, what you can do means what you can do right now—and what you have the potential to do, later.

Karen jokes that her clients come to her for her smile. Along with her joyful attitude, deep caring, and dedication, Karen brings first-hand understanding and decades of experience overcoming the challenges and attitudes faced by those with disabilities.

Karen offers support to people with cerebral palsy and learning disabilities in three main ways. Click the links below to find out more.