An Important Message Regarding COVID-19

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Dear Friends:

Since our founding, SDI has evolved to meet the needs of the disability community. Our guiding vision is the full inclusion of people with disabilities in society. But today, inclusion has a different look.  While the situation around COVID-19 is unprecedented, the needs of the disability community remain strong and urgent—in relation to equal employment opportunities, economic independence, a sense of belonging, and of pride in contributing.

SDI staff are uniquely prepared to meet clients’ enduring needs during this changing time. As professionals with disabilities ourselves, we have spent years developing expertise in adapting, making modifications, and adjusting to fluid situations. We also have expertise in technology that allows us to be productive remote workers.  Moreover, we have the psychological fortitude required to withstand “social distancing.”

We are committed to meeting the needs of our clients and the entire disability community during this challenging time. Now more than ever, the ability to adapt to a challenge counts.

At SDI, we have made these important changes to meet the needs of our community, clients and staff:

Access to our Programs

  • Starkloff Career Academy Spring Capstone Course is now being conducted online. All individual career coaching sessions are taking place via phone and Zoom conferencing.
  • Spring Resume Clean Up, scheduled for April 30, will now be a virtual event. Participants can still receive all the same benefits (resume reviews, one-on-one meetings with recruiters, job-search advice) but in an online format. Registration is open! Click here
  • Dream Big Career Camp registration is open. Staff is making arrangements for an alternative summer experience on the chance that corporate visits are unavailable. We know students with disabilities and their families need resources now more than ever. Reach out to our Youth Programs Staff here.


Access to our Staff

  • SDI office is closed and all staff are working remotely for everyone’s safety. All meetings with staff, clients, and the community will be held via teleconference or Zoom conference until further notice. To reach an SDI staff member directly, send an email or leave a voicemail on the main phone line at 314-588-7090. The system alerts staff immediately of your call.


Access to Resources during COVID-19 Pandemic

  • Our list of resources includes information regarding:
    • people with disabilities health, risks, rights and more
    • the ADA during pandemic
    • attendant care users
    • job-search help
    • educational resources, and much more

See our list here. It is periodically updated, so be sure to check in weekly!

Unveiling New Needs

  • The clients we serve may be among those at greatest risk for contracting COVID-19 and may face self-quarantine situations for longer than others. They may have other risk factors such as lack of access to home computers and Internet resources. As this situation unfurls we are assessing the needs of our clients and the ways we can most effectively deliver services.

Our communications team will be delivering continuous updates on changes in programming or policies, on needs that your partnership can fill, and on things you can do to support our team and clients both financially and emotionally.

We are committed to our Founder Max Starkloff’s proclamation, “everybody who wants a job, should have a job.”

On behalf of all of us here at SDI, thank you for your continued commitment to our work on behalf of people with disabilities.


In solidarity,

Lori Becker

Chief Operating Officer


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