Meet Gene Rodgers, Producer

Gene Rodgers

Gene broke his neck at age 17 when he fell from a cliff, in Whipp’s Ledges near his home in Cleveland, Ohio. The good news is, since then, he has had many adventures in 44 countries. Gene has gone sailing, scuba diving, parasailing, sky diving, paragliding and trekking in the mountains. He recently made an expedition to Mt. Everest. You can see pictures from some of his adventures at

Gene credits his parents and many friends to his successful rehabilitation. His parents were hard-working and taught him, by example, the habits of the industry at an early age. They told him he could have anything he wanted, as long as he got a job to pay for it. That still applied after he broke his neck.

Gene went to college at Kent State in Ohio, where he made friends that changed his life. After he earned a B.S. Ed with a major in Comprehensive Science, Gene moved to New Mexico to get away from the snow and to find a job. After working a few years, he went back to school to get his MBA from the University of New Mexico. Gene worked in the field of technology for people with disabilities for several years before becoming a successful entrepreneur. He eventually ended up in Austin, Texas, where he lives and works today.

In 1998, Gene earned a Switzer Fellowship to research Community-Based Rehabilitation, from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR). Gene continues to receive emails, regarding work he posted on the web, from people all over the world. See for more information.

Gene became a member of the Austin Actual Lives group five years ago. Since then, he has written and acted in performances state-wide as well as in Washington, D.C. All Actual Lives performances are based on real-life experiences.

Gene formerly produced Geno’s Place, a show on extreme sports for people with disabilities. His first show was on Sailing, the next on Sky Sports, and the last on Scuba Diving. Each show included video segments he directed and starred in places as far away as Switzerland, as high as Mt. Everest, and as inviting as the Caribbean Sea. Gene has shown his DVDs to conferences and classes. See his store at and some of his videos at or, which is his YouTube Channel.

Gene won a first-time producer award from Channel Austin TV in 2004. He also became a Dewey Winburne Community Service Award Nominee, at the 2008 International SXSW Conference, for his community service using multimedia, including TV broadcasts, DVDs, web pages, presentations in the community, and live performances.

Gene is currently producing The Gene and Dave Show, a show for and about people with disabilities, on Austin Public Access TV. Gene and his co-host David Dauber strive for maximum accessibility on their shows. Shows are then archived on their website at which is fully accessible.

Gene is a motivational speaker at local, state, and national conferences.

Gene suspends from a bridge