Community Education 

Starkloff staff and community members in colorful disability pride tshirts smiling in a line under the Gateway Arch

Most people don’t set out to exclude others, they just aren’t aware of barriers that don’t exist for them. Starkloff makes disability a part of community conversations. 

Starkloff is committed to creating a more inclusive community for everyone. We educate the community through events, speaking engagements, media appearances, workshops, and outreach.  

Disability touches all of us. Whether you have a disability yourself, have a friend who broke a leg, or a parent with hearing loss, we all experience disability at some point. One in four Americans has a disability. It shouldn’t mean the end of your professional or social life. Working to end harmful stereotypes and make the spaces where people live, learn, work, and play disability-friendly benefits all of us. 

Our trainers regularly visit nonprofit organizations and schools to provide workshops on disability inclusion and spread awareness about the vast potential of people with disabilities. Our team educates media outlets about preferred language to improve depictions of disability in the media, and Starkloff runs public interest ad campaigns and writes letters to the editor in response to current events.  

We help people understand that disability is common and that simple changes can mean the difference between participation or not for many of us. When a neighborhood event plans to include ASL interpretation or a work meeting includes allergy-friendly snacks, disabled people feel like we belong. This is how we end the isolation. This is how we help disabled people thrive. 

This investment isn’t as easy to measure as a candidate’s career advancement, but it is some of our most important work. Shifting our culture of exclusion isn’t a quick fix. And we aren’t looking for one— we want disability inclusion to become part of the fabric of our communities. Growing relationships, expanding awareness, adding the voice of disability wherever decisions are being made takes significant time and resources. We have 20 years of progress to build upon and each new person we meet is another opportunity to make change. 

Our goal is to touch every corner of the St. Louis community, bringing the message of equity and inclusion to children and adults with and without disabilities across the region. As attitudes shift, barriers will come down and people with disabilities will finally achieve equality.