At the Starkloff Disability Institute, we help adults and youth with disabilities prepare for the next step in their professional life. Adults entering or already in the workforce have opportunities to build professional skills, network with business leaders, and find a job in their desired field. Youth can join programs and events that expose them to numerous career fields and help them build professional skills for the future.
We offer adults with disabilities unique opportunities to start, grow and advance in their professional career.
The Starkloff Career Academy is a unique program unlike any other. Becoming a Career Academy candidate means joining a community of professionals with disabilities who share their knowledge and resources with each other as they seek careers meaningful to them.
Starkloff Disability Institute’s Academy Capstone Course is an intensive 8-week course that provides candidates the opportunity to discuss and disclose your disability, master the behavioral job interview, develop your public speaking skills, and increase your network on and offline. In addition, you will have the opportunity to practice with actual hiring managers from our corporate partners including Nestlé-Purina, Boeing, and Centene Corporation.
Candidates meet regularly with Academy staff for one-on-one career coaching. This includes resume and cover-letter writing, practice interviews, individualized career search planning, disclosure strategy planning and much more.
This program connects inclusive-minded professionals from the St. Louis region with Career Academy candidates. Candidates meet, network and share industry knowledge and job-seeking advice.
This group meets on the first non-holiday Monday of each month. Candidates gather for coffee and a casual conversation with a special guest speaker. Topics include financial planning, social media, disability advocacy, or an ask-me-anything discussion with a recruiter from one of our partner corporations.
Candidates attend several special events throughout the year. Events include our Fall Forum and Spring Clean-Up. While many of these events are open to the public, Career Academy Candidates have access to individualized assistance to help them prepare and make the most of these events.
Bryan has Cerebral Palsy, and he uses a manual wheelchair to assist with his mobility disability. He started at the Career Academy with an MA in Human Resources Management from Webster University.
We offer great programs that educate and inform youth with disabilities about professional skill building and potential career match opportunities.
The Dream Big program strives to empower college and technical school bound youth with disabilities to dream big about their future. The program aims to show students that they can do many things that their non-disabled peers can do, and they should not limit their career goals. By participating in Dream Big students will gain confidence to explore different career paths and understanding of the steps necessary to successfully live independently as a person with a disability.
At the Dream Big Career Camp, youth participants engage in educational activities aimed specifically at inclusion and independent living. Throughout the camp week, our staff present topics, such as disclosure, reasonable accommodations, and making the best choices for college and curricula. Career Camp participants also visit leading companies and learning centers to apply their learning.
The job shadowing program provides students an opportunity to discover a passion for a particular profession during career camp. Students follow in the steps of a professional for a day at one of our partner companies to receive in-depth information about professional responsibilities and what is required to obtain such a role.
Dream Big students and their families are invited to participate in group activities throughout the year, including barbecues and baseball games. The group provides support and fellowship for parents and students facing important decisions about their future while addressing the unique situations that come with a disability.
Peter enjoyed the Dream Big program because it allowed him to explore many different job opportunities for people with disabilities at companies and corporations around St. Louis. He learned about several opportunities for internships as well.