Commence speaker Colleen Starkloff has special resonance
Colleen Starkloff, cofounder of the Starkloff Disability Institute, delivered the commencement address at the College of Arts and Science’s graduation ceremony earlier this month.
Colleen’s history with accessibility made her an especially apt speaker given that May’s commencement marked the graduation of first cohort of SUCCEED students. SUCCEED is a post-secondary program for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities ages 18 through 25 years.
Starkloff ‘s advocacy and leadership have been instrumental to the disability rights movement in the St. Louis area, as well as strongly influencing national efforts. Alongside her late husband, Max Starkloff, she led advocacy groups that supported the development of laws, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act, which is one of America’s most comprehensive civil rights legislation that prohibits discrimination and guarantees opportunities for individuals with disabilities.
“The Starkloff’s pioneering in the seventies, eighties and nineties brought us to the era where we are today,” said April Regester, an assistant professor who works with SUCCEED. “Now, we’re starting to realize the benefits of a truly diverse student body at the postsecondary level, too.”
UMSL SUCCEED Students