Motivational Keynote Speaker

Karen keynotes a recent People First conference in San Diego

Karen Lynn-Chlup Crushes Misconceptions and Says, “If I can do it, you can do it, too.”

Motivational keynote speaker Karen Lynn-Chlup whispers hope and shouts a challenge to change the world for people with disabilities.

Karen Lynn-Chlup has been an advocate for people with disabilities since she was a small child. She advocated for herself before people with disabilities began organizing into special needs groups. Karen was a pioneering leader in the disability rights movement, and she spoke up for the rights of people with disabilities when others did not.

In 2002, Karen was elected to sit on the executive board of Protection & Advocacy, Inc. for a two-year term. While on the board, she worked as part of a team that helped change state and federal laws in favor of people with disabilities. Karen led the effort to update Protection & Advocacy, Inc.’s vision and mission statements to include treating all human beings with dignity and respect. Protection & Advocacy, Inc., is now known as Disability Rights California, and is the largest disability rights organization in the United States. 

Envisioning a world where disabilities are not barriers, Karen advocates for better schools, health care, playgrounds, and job opportunities for people with disabilities. She engages with individuals to empower themselves. It all starts with changing perceptions, and Karen’s audiences come away replacing old limitations with new ways of thinking.

Karen inspires people living with a disability to accept themselves unconditionally and to learn to push through barriers, to take on more than they thought they could, to imagine reaching for higher levels and goals, to become inspired by how others have reached their dreams, to learn to inspire themselves, and to never give up.

She inspires her audience with her own experience, and a lifetime of accomplishments that the experts told her she’d never achieve—learning to dance, to read, to write, graduating college, and marrying. She motivates people to see beyond others’ perceptions of them and their own self-limiting assumptions about their capabilities.

Growing up and living with cerebral palsy and a learning disability, Karen heard “You can’t…” and “You’ll never…” from the time she was a young child. But these low expectations never stopped her. Karen refused to limit her achievements to fit what some medical experts and educators expected of her. She brings both warmth and her “refuse to settle” attitude to her speeches.

Karen’s audiences learn how to be more inclusive of individuals with disabilities in everyday decision-making and actions. They learn how to challenge old processes and thinking—in productive ways—as she compels each person to continually learn and find ways to better advocate for the community of people living with disabilities—and for themselves!

Whether a person with a disability or a family member, teacher, advocate or caregiver, audience members leave Karen’s presentations inspired and armed with real-world strategies to facilitate change both at the individual and the community levels.

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Click here to watch a video of Karen’s keynote at a recent People First conference.