Media Literacy Week
November 5 - 10, 2017
"Inclusion in a Connected World"
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About the Presenter
Co-Founder, Starkloff Disability Institute
Colleen Kelly Starkloff is co-founder, with her husband Max, of the Starkloff Disability Institute. After the death of Max J. 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.
Ms. Starkloff has worked in the field of disability rights for 44 years. She has extensive experience educating and training the people with and without disabilities on issues related to employment of people with disabilities, 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. In 1999, she joined a citizens’ advocacy group responsible for the establishment 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 served as Founding Chair of the Commission. She is the creator and Organizer of 6 national Universal Design Summits which train architects, designers and builders on uses and benefits of Universal Design in home and community design. In 2005 she introduced Disability Studies into the curriculum at Maryville University and also taught a course on Universal Design in 2010. From 2005-2010 she collaborated with the Missouri History Museum to create a 1,000 square foot exhibit focused on Disability History. Titled “The Americans with Disabilities Act: Twenty Years Later”, this exhibit remained open and free to the public for 19 months. An estimated 163,000 visitors saw this exhibit. 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 2011 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. In 2014 she was responsible for organizing advocacy efforts in Missouri to encourage Senate ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. In 2016 she began a new venture, “Colleen Starkloff Talks Disability” as a public speaker on disability issues. A university Commencement Speaker, and general speaker, Ms. Starkloff is sought after to speak nationwide on a variety of subjects related to employment of people with disabilities, disability history, the Disability Rights Movement, Independent Living and the emancipation of all people with disability. A 1993 graduate of Coro’s Women in Leadership Program, she has won numerous awards for her work in the Field of Disability. She is also a St. Louis “Woman of Achievement” for 2017.
Her life story is captured in Max Starkloff and the Fight for Disability Rights, a biography about her late husband.
Colleen Starkloff is the featured presenter for the event Disabilities and the Media during Media Literacy Week 2017.