For Candidates. We’re the workforce disability advisors.

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.

Adult Candidates

We offer adults with disabilities unique opportunities to start, grow and advance in their professional career.


The Starkloff Career Academy Capstone Course 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.

Our mission

Starkloff Disability Institute is committed to creating pathways for people with disabilities to gain acceptance in all facets of society through employment, education, and universal access.

Capstone Course

Starkloff Disability Institute’s Academy Capstone Course is an intensive 10-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.

1-on-1 Career Coaching

Candidates meet regularly with our Career Advisors 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.

Career Academy Special Events

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.

Success Story

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.

Youth Candidates

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.

Dream Big Career Camps

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 goal of the DREAM BIG Mentoring Program is to connect students with potential employers, provide job shadowing and career exploration opportunities to students and create lasting connections between mentors and mentees.

To fully participate in this program, mentors are required to:

  • Set up one meeting with student/semester
  • Invite student to job shadow for a day
  • Introduce student to two people within their network with similar interests

To fully participate in this program students are required to:

  • Attend all meetings scheduled with mentor
  • Organize meetings (can be multiple) with mentor
  • Follow up with people mentor introduces

The time commitment for mentor program is roughly two to four hours per month. Some months will vary.

To register to become a mentor, click here. 

Upcoming Special Events
Success Story

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.

Get Involved
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Volunteer Almost weekly, we’re looking for volunteers that are actively working in a professional setting to help educate, advise or partner as part of our adult and youth candidate programs.
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