For over 40 years Colleen Starkloff has been advocating for people with Disabilities. During her career, she has trained thousands of people to welcome those with disabilities into various aspects of society. She brings her background as a national disability rights leader, public speaker, facilitator and trainer to companies seeking methods and advice on welcoming people with disabilities into their workforce.
Ms. Starkloff is a sought-after speaker and thought leader on a variety of subjects related to disability rights, disability history, employment of people with disabilities, Universal Design and the emancipation of all people with disability.
The 2014 award-winning biography, Max Starkloff and the Fight for Disability Rights, by Charles E. Claggett, Jr., features both Ms. Starkloff and her late husband, Max J. Starkloff and their fight for civil rights for people with disabilities across the world. In conjunction with her late husband, Ms. Starkloff has co-founded 2 successful disability-focused organizations, Paraquad in 1970 and the Starkloff Disability Institute in 2003. She has organized and conducted 5 national training conferences and continues to promote employment of people with disability as an important Diversity/Inclusion emphasis for major U.S. corporations.
Ms. Starkloff was a key advisor to the Missouri History Museum on the development of their exhibit titled "The Americans With Disabilities Act: Twenty Years Later", which opened at the museum on June 26, 2010, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Open for 19 months, this exhibit was visited by 163,000 museum visitors. She also established Disability Studies curricula at Maryville University in St. Louis. The courses teach disability rights history, advocacy, service delivery, public policy change and independent living philosophy and service delivery. These courses are now taught by a professor who also has a disability.
Ms. Starkloff has been a featured speaker for St. Louis Community College - Meramec, University of Missouri St. Louis, Nestle Purina Petcare, and Fontbonne University. She also has conducted speaking engagements at national conferences throughout the US, including the National Council on Independent Living in Washington D.C.