The Starkloff Disability Institute hosted a cocktail social at the home of Carolyn Losos in an effort to educate local St. Louisans on the many challenges facing disabled persons and to appeal for donations. The Institute believes that “the next big step” involves shifting negative societal attitudes through community outreach and education, support services, and implementing universal building design that can greatly improve the quality of life for the disabled and strengthen our community as a whole.
In 1970, Max Starkloff co-founded Paraquad, one of the original 10 federally funded independent living centers in the nation with his wife, Colleen, as a privately funded project. That same year Max founded the St. Louis Chapter of National Paraplegia Foundation. Eventually he secured the first ever statewide legislation for curb costs, acquired disabled parking legislation and wheelchair lifts on public buses to set a nationwide precedent for public transportation, and has reorganized support groups. Max also co-founded the National Council on Independent Living, and was appointed by former President Clinton to the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships. Max works tirelessly to promote a stronger national understanding of what life with disability looks like and why it’s important for disabled individuals to be fully integrated, independent, and employed citizens.