mediaKaren is an ordinary gal living an extraordinary life. Karen was born with normal hearing and grew up hard of hearing, the result of a gene that existed in her family for five generations. Karen became deaf from a fall while barefoot water skiing as a teen.  At the age of 44, she started walking on water again, becoming the only deaf woman to compete in barefoot water ski competitions.

She is the author of Barefoot Water Skiing, From Weekend Warrior to Competitor, The Parenting Journey, Raising Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children, The Passionate Lives of Deaf and Hard of Hearing People, and co-authored Gliding Soles, Lessons from a Life on Water with the two-time World Barefoot Champion, Keith St. Onge. Her story is featured in Chicken Soup for the Soul, Find Your Happiness.

Karen is a mom to three deaf and hard of hearing kids and an advocate for families with deaf and hard of hearing children. She is the Co-Director of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Infusion and serves on the Speaker’s Bureau for Hands & Voices .  She is the founder and a board member of Illinois Hands & Voices. Karen has been honored as a HearStrong Champion and a Top Twenty Deaf Pearl.  She received the Hot Mommas Award housed at the George Washington University School of Business.

You can also find her in the movie, “I’m Fine, Thanks” and on PBS via Growing Bolder in “A Mom Who Walks on Water” in the Fun and Funky Episode.  She’s also in the Tommie Copper infomercial on TV: Life Recharged.

Some of Karen’s media features:


“Karen Putz reignites her waterskiing passion…”
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growing bolder

“Deaf mom who walks on water…”
click to read

Download Karen’s headshot:

Karen Putz

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Karen Putz


Karen Putz

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Karen Putz


More Karen Putz Media Appearances:

More About Karen:

Karen was born with normal hearing and became hard of hearing after a bout of illness in elementary school. At the age of 19, she tripped over a wake while barefoot water skiing and cartwheeled into the water. She thought she merely had water in her ears, but being deaf was here to stay, thanks to a wacky gene in her family. Becoming deaf turned out to be a blessing; after she dried the tears, Karen decided to embrace life and a whole new world opened up.

In a nutshell, Karen is a speaker, writer, Passion Mentor, and competitive barefoot water skier.

Karen is also a board member and Director of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Infusion at Hands & Voices, a parent-driven organization that is dedicated to providing non-biased support to families with deaf and hard of hearing children, and founder and former President of Illinois chapter of Hands & Voices.

At the age of 44, Karen took up barefoot water skiing again and now competes in barefoot tournaments. She is a sponsored skier and Blog Manager at the World Barefoot Center. She has been featured on espnW, Growing Bolder, Ability magazine, and AOL That’s Fit. Her story can be found in Chicken Soup for the Soul, Find Your Happiness and MORE magazine, November 2011 issue. Karen is the recipient of the Hot Mommas Project Award for Sports, Wellness and Fitness and a HearStrong Champion.

Karen and her husband, Joe, run a greeting card business: Passion Pursuits.

Oh, and Karen once met Oprah (she sat in the audience three times) and has been published in the O Magazine three times (ok, it was only a Letter to the Editor and a little blurb about celebrating getting older, and another blurb about facing fears, but hey, O Magazine!).

Karen On Camera:

TV interview with Karen Putz and Keith St. Onge:

Event: 140 Conference Date 11/14/16
Location: Westwood Theater in LA