The Workforce, Workplace Disability Advisor

Saint Louis, MO   |


Build inclusion where we live, learn, work, and play through disability-led programs that advance economic opportunity and transform lives.

Ruling year info


Chief Executive Officer

Ms Lori Becker

Main address

133 S 11th Street Suite 500

Saint Louis, MO 63102 USA

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NTEE code info

Employment, Job Related N.E.C. (J99)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

We all recognize that employment is essential if people with disabilities are to participate fully in communal life—essential to economic, social, and psychological well-being and connectedness. Workplaces are a primary locale for social interaction. We join teams at work, we make friends at work, we meet partners at work, and we share our stories with the people who often share more hours of our time than we can spare for family and friends. An individual’s sense of self-worth is often grounded in the social significance of the work role and the personal sense of contribution to the community. Yet people with disabilities are denied these opportunities. The Starkloff Career Academy helps our communities do the right thing, the equitable thing, as it empowers people with disabilities to live independently and contribute to society, creating both social and economic benefits.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Starkloff Career Academy

The Academy facilitates the hiring of qualified people with disabilities into mainstream jobs by training candidates to become competitive job seekers and by educating employers on how to welcome them into their workforce.

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities
Unemployed people

The Starkloff Disability Workplace Advisors partners with a wide array of companies, including federal contractors, to provide training and other services that prepare their workforces and workplaces to accommodate team members with disabilities.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The Mission of the Starkloff Disability Institute is to create pathways for people with disabilities to gain acceptance in all facets of society through employment, education, and universal access. In 2010, we chose to focus on employment as the last frontier for accessibility on the road to equity for America’s largest minority. As the Workforce, Workplace Disability Advisor, Starkloff prepares candidates—adults and youth—for competitive employment and advises companies eager to access an untapped labor pool and build an inclusive workforce. Our approach, developed and refined over the last ten years, works in two directions: First, the Workplace Disability Advisor Program opens employers’ eyes to the feasibility of creating an inclusive workplace by training 400+ HR/management personnel every year. Starkloff’s workshops, lectures, toolkits, and customized advisory services provide companies with resources for recruiting, interviewing, accommodating, and on-boarding candidates with disabilities. As professionals with disabilities, our trainers serve as real-world examples of the possibilities. The Starkloff Career Academy empowers job candidates with disabilities for competition in the marketplace.

Programs under the umbrella of the Academy have expanded significantly over the past several years to include a larger number of options for expanded audience segments:

• Adult Career Services: Starkloff provides one-of-a-kind job-search services for people with disabilities seeking competitive employment. We chose to serve an audience with a college education or technical training as an underserved cohort. State-of-the-art courses, taught by HR professionals, complement one-on-one consultation on career planning, networking, resume building, and interviewing—all from a disability-informed perspective. In addition to our 10-week, 20 session Capstone Class, we provide targeted Bootcamps to prepare candidates to put their best foot forward in job-search settings. In addition, with assistance from corporate partners, we invite job seekers to special workshops, like our Spring Resume Clean-Up and Fall Jobs Forum, both involving HR professionals.

• DREAM BIG: In 2017, we piloted DREAM BIG, a program for teens with disabilities that bridges a gap as they transition to college with an eye to employment. Year-round activities, centered on topics like networking and coding, supplement week-long Career Camps in the summer that provide kids with opportunities for self-determination and personal growth. In 2019, the first of three camps focused on STEAM professions, while Tech and Trade took center stage in the second week. Finally, Endless Possibilities showcased occupations ranging from culinary arts to public relations. Employers welcomed students for tours, activities, and opportunities to network. While the field trips provide the WOW factor, our staff taught sixteen lessons including self-advocacy, professional behavior, and conflict resolution, navigating college applications, and disability disclosure, all tailored for a young disabled professional beginning a journey to employment and independence.

• ACCESS U: Our newest program, ACCESS U, is designed to meet the needs of college students with disabilities by helping them get the most from their college experiences as they prepare for employment success. College students with disabilities are about 1/3 less likely to graduate and 40% less likely to find jobs than their peers. Our College Outreach Coordinator, hired in June of 2019, is at work applying our resources to bringing down these barriers. Program participants receive “Tips for Being a Successful College Student with a Disability,” a document that offers a foundation for achieving goals for self-advocacy. A Self-Advocacy Podcast is also available for those who want to know more. Because internships are critical to career preparation, ACCESS U will feature a robust internship program.

The name “Starkloff” is synonymous with disability rights in St. Louis. When members of the local community require input and comments from experts in the field of disability, they are likely to call on us. In 2015 the importance of our work was recognized when FOCUS St. Louis, the region’s premier leadership organization, honored Starkloff with a “What’s Right with the Region!” award. As the conveners of a bi-annual Universal Design Summit, we are recognized nationally recognized in this area. The new Gateway Arch Museum bears the Starkloff Stamp.

No one teaches disability like Starkloff! Since 2010, we have worked with major employers to help them take advantage of a talent pool they might otherwise overlook. Our “Role Model Company Program” rewards businesses that seek to meet and exceed affirmative action goals with expert assistance in hiring people with disabilities. Our 10-week Capstone Course, designed to prepare job candidates for competition, has become the gold standard for career preparation, and we have added a range of services to produce confident job seekers who know how to market themselves as people with disabilities. During the past year, Starkloff has become known for its expertise in disability disclosure—a subject treated in the Capstone Course. Recently, our staff delivered a continuing education program, “Disability Disclosure Planning,” to an audience of over 70 disability service providers.


• Since the inception of our employment programs, 221 adult job candidates have received services in our classes or through individual career coaching. Last year, we reached 65 adults with programs that produce results.
• 82 percent of the candidates we serve advance on their career paths.
• 48 of the region’s largest employers are opening up the employment market and providing both volunteers and financial support for our educational programs as they tool up for disability hiring.
• 400 human resource professionals in 2019 profited from workshops, tours, and seminars led by Starkloff educators.
• In 2019, 18 students attended DREAM BIG Career Camps in a total of 13 corporate settings.
Goals for the Starkloff Career Academy:
• Continue to provide Adult Career Services—2 Capstone Courses per year, Bootcamps, special workshops, and individual counseling—to 65-70 job candidates.
• Continue to expand DREAM BIG, providing services for 50 students and their parents.
• Build in-school programming for students participating in DREAM BIG, starting in the Parkway District.
• Expand ACCESS U to additional colleges and implement a robust internship program.
• Provide community education on disability disclosure and self-advocacy to program participants and professionals working in the field of disability.

By implementing these goals, Starkloff will:
• Enhance opportunities for qualified individuals with disabilities to become financially independent through mainstream employment.
• Provide exposure for a broad audience of people with disabilities—adults and teens—so they can SEE themselves in the workforce, belief in their employability, and confront the job market with confidence.
• Provide state-of-the-art job search tools that empower people with disabilities to compete for mainstream jobs.
• Prepare job candidates to address the issue of disability with confidence in the job-search process.

The Starkloff Disability Institute is committed to overcoming barriers in the St. Louis area that preclude the full participation of people with disabilities. Education is essential to dispel bias in the employment sector and to build confidence and hope among disabled job candidates who are seeking to achieve economic independence. We are proud to offer life-changing employment services to audiences spanning from high school to college to adulthood.



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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Board of directors
as of 06/07/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Steve Degnan

Dave Baker

Strategies Midwest, LLC

Amy Bird

St. Louis Community College

David Blanton, III

Community Volunteer

Gerard Buckley, Ed.D

National Technical Institute for the Deaf

November Champion

Edward Jones

Kevin Erbs


Harriet Felman

Community Volunteer

Jaki Jefferson

SSM Health

Kara Kopplin


Kathy Lovell

Regions Bank

Christina Lawrence

Nestle Purina North America

Dan Nielsen

Reinsurance Group of America

Bryan Parrish


Adewale Soluade

Centene Corporation

Luke Terrell

Restless Productions

Allison Zuck

PGAV Destinations

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Not applicable
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Not applicable

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 6/7/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or straight
Disability status
Person with a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation

No data


We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 08/24/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.