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Colleen Kelly Starkloff

Co-Director, Starkloff Disability Institute

photo_colleen-starkloff_01Colleen Starkloff is co-founder, with her husband Max, of the Starkloff Disability Institute. After the death of Max Starkloff in December, 2010, she now serves as Co-Director.

During the 1970’s, she co-founded Paraquad, Inc. in St. Louis in conjunction with Max. As Vice President of Paraquad, she has trained the disabled and non-disabled communities on issues related to independent living; developing new program initiatives; and coordinating activities that promoted the successful implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). She served two terms as the United States Organizer of the Japan/USA Conference of Persons with Disabilities.

She helped created and served as Founding Chairperson of the Affordable Housing Commission in the City of St. Louis, which oversees a $5M Affordable Housing Trust Fund. She ensured that housing created by the Trust Fund must include Universal Design features. She created the national Universal Design Summits which train architects, designers and builders on uses and benefits of Universal Design.

In 2005 she advised the Missouri History Museum in St. Louis on a disability history exhibit, titled “The Americans with Disabilities Act-Twenty Years Later”. In 2011 she established the Max Starkloff Speaker Series, to educate the public on the need to create a world that welcomes all people with disabilities. In 2012 she was presented a Doctor of Humane Letters by Fontbonne University. In 2013 she began consulting and training on issues related to employment of people with disabilities in mainstream, competitive jobs.

A 1993 graduate of Coro’s Women in Leadership Program, she has won numerous awards for her work in the Field of Disability.