It’s Here! October is National Disability Awareness Month

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Colleen Starkloff Talks Disability

Every October, Americans across the country celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month. This year, I’m celebrating by talking disability.

I’ve been talking disability since I met my late husband, Max Starkloff. The more we talk disability, the more we begin to realize the great potential that people with disabilities have to fully integrate themselves in our society.  The sooner we recognize the great potential of disabled people, the sooner we begin to see the impact on our economy and our lifestyles. Instead of seeing their differences, we will realize what we have in common.

Right now, we have a shortage of workers to help sustain our booming economy.  We also have an ever-increasing number of people with all types of disabilities integrating in schools (not segregated schools for only disabled people) and seeking higher education and trade/technical training.  I believe the cry for workforce expansion will be answered by millions of youth with disabilities who are beginning to DREAM BIG about their futures.

People with disabilities have been and will continue to integrate into corporate America.  As we continue to do so, we will also see an attitudinal shift in how society views people with disabilities.  No longer will we be thinking that we need to “care” for these individuals.  Rather we will see people with disabilities as a talent pool that will boost the economy.

This is why Starkloff Disability Institute is committed to creating programs that help people become the most qualified job candidates to answer the call of workforce expansion. The Starkloff Disability Institute has created the Starkloff Career Academy which offers several initiatives that promote employment of disabled people.

Our Capstone Course is unique in the nation.  Job candidates who have already attained a college, post graduate, trade or technical degree learn interviewing skills and build confidence to nail that hiring interview.

Our DREAM BIG initiative connects high school and college youth with corporations who are looking for talented people with disabilities to join their workforce.  These connections encourage youth to DREAM BIG about their futures and expose them to a myriad of career paths to help them understand how to get there.

I am committed to spreading the word about how we can change our attitudes alongside the great resources SDI offers to people with disabilities. If you would like me to Talk Disability at a lunch-and-learn or other venue, please contact Dallas Adams, 314-588-7090 or email her at dadams@starkloff.org to set the date. Let’s celebrate disability this October!

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