Create a world that welcomes people with disabilities.





Aimed at closing the unemployment gap between disabled and non-disabled workers. The Next Big Step facilitates the hiring of qualified people with disabilities into mainstream jobs by training disabled job candidates to become highly-competitive job seekers and by educating employers on how to welcome them into their workforce.
The Next Big Step Class
The Next Big Step Class is a 12-week, classroom based program for job candidates with disabilities who have graduated from or are attending college, or are certified in a specific trade. The class teaches the latest job-acquisition skills, instills confidence, and teaches participants to market themselves as a valuable worker with a disability. Click “More” button below for more information and to apply for the course.
Next Big Step: Corporate Consulting
Starkloff Business Consulting helps businesses of all size how to tap into the talent of the disability community. Companies can learn best practices in recruiting, interviewing, and hiring people with disabilities. Pamphlets, webinars and interactive on-site workshops help the entire workforce, especially human resources staff and managers, learn disability etiquette, gain comfort in hiring and working alongside people with disabilities.
Disability Studies
The Disability Studies Initiative is a course of study that prepares college students, especially those with disabilities, for careers in the Field of Disability. This unique curriculum includes six classes that range from disability history to independent living and are taught in collaboration with Maryville University.
Universal Design Summit
North America’s only conference focused on housing and communities usable by AIA. The Universal Design Summit is a unique educational experience showcasing best practices in universal design in housing, sustainable design, community design and affordability
The Max Starkloff Speaker Series
The Max Starkloff Speaker Series honors the legacy of Max Starkloff (1937-2010) by raising public awareness through presentations that spur conversation about disability. Notable speakers from the disability community share insights on a variety of topics related to living with a disability.


About SDI


Max Starkloff

Max Starkloff

The Starkloff Disability Institute is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to helping people with disabilities – participate fully and equally in all aspects of society.
Founded in 2003 by Max & Colleen Starkloff and David Newburger, the Starkloff Disability Institute works on changing societal attitudes and perceptions about people with disabilities through activities that send a positive message about living with disability in order to create a world that welcomes disabled people.
The Starkloff Disabilities Institute, through its Next Big Step Program is focusing primarily on helping people with disabilities overcome the institutional obstacles that exist in our workplaces. SDI works with  employers to help them evolve into accessible workplace environments; and, works with potential employees with disabilities to help connect them with employers.


SDI Board


SDI Staff


Max Starkloff


About SDI


Colleen Starkloff

Colleen Starkloff

Colleen Starkloff, Co-Director

Colleen Starkloff is a career advocate for people with disabilities.

She is an expert on issues related to independent living; Universal Design, the history of disability issues, disability employment and public policy related to the disability community.

As a Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Starkloff Disability Institute, she works to promote and foster full employment for people with disabilities. She consults with employers on training issues related to employment of people with disabilities in mainstream, competitive jobs.

Ms. Starkloff is often invited to speak on a variety of subjects related to disability rights, Universal Design, employment of people with disabilities and the emancipation of all people with disability.





When people understand disability, they will join our efforts to make it possible for people with disabilities to enjoy full participation in the communities where they live.




Join the Starkloff Disability Institute and discover how you can be a part of increasing the world of accessibility.

11 Nov
You are invited!

Holiday Benefit Party

You are invited to the Starkloff Disability Institute's Holiday Benefit on Thursday, December 3, 2015, from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm.

Book Now



Your Generosity Today Helps us Build the Promise of Tomorrow.

The Starkloff Disability Institute is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to helping people with disabilities – participate fully and equally in all aspects of society. All programs and operations are funded solely by the generous contributions from private donors.

Make a secure contribution online today!



Key Partners






Contact SDI

To send us an email please fill out the form below:

or contact us via mail or phone:
Starkloff Disability Institute
133 S. 11th Street, Suite 500
Saint Louis, MO 63102
T: (314) 588-7090
F: (314) 588-7056


© 2015 Starkloff Disability Institute