New Book Chronicles Extraordinary Life of Max Starkloff and the Fight for Disability Rights
Author: Starkloff Disability Institute : Contact: www.starkloff.org
Book tells the story of Max Starkloff, a St. Louis man who helped create political and social movement that changed the world for people with disabilities.
Max Starkloff and the Fight for Disability Rights , a long-awaited new book about the St. Louis man who helped to create a political and social movement that changed the world for people with disabilities for the better, is finally available and generating accolades for Max J. Starkloff's trailblazing work.
Published by Missouri History Museum Press, the inspiring 400-page book by co-authors Charles E. Claggett Jr. and Richard H. Weiss is the powerful story of Max J. Starkloff's life and legacy, and his work carried on today at the Starkloff Disability Institute.
In 1959, at age 21, Starkloff was in a car accident that left him paralyzed from the neck down. Doctors doubted that he would live yet he survived and spent 12 years in a nursing home. From his confinement, Starkloff co-founded a nonprofit independent living center, called Paraquad, and met and married a young physical therapist, Colleen Kelly.
This dynamic team helped create and expand the Independent Living Disability Rights Movement that would benefit millions of people with disabilities across the United States.
Max moved out of the nursing home in 1975 and lived with Colleen and their children in St. Louis's Central West End. A few of Starkloff's many extraordinary accomplishments before his death in 2010 include:
- Securing barrier-free legislation for local and state curb cuts
- Enabling disabled parking legislation
- Successfully lobbying for disabled access to public building and schools
- Gaining local government commitments to equip new buses with wheelchair lifts
- Founding the St. Louis Chapter of the National Paraplegia Foundation
- Lobbying to help ensure passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act
- Working to ensure that St. Louis' new light rail system offered total accessibility
- Serving on many advisory boards and boards of directors of influential business, healthcare and government organizations
Colleen Starkloff, co-director of Starkloff Disability Institute today, says,
"Max's trailblazing work is respected by advocates for people with disabilities and civil rights leaders across the U.S. and around the world. Publication of this important, meaningful and inspiring book about his life is a special time for us."
NBC Broadcaster Bob Costas, a good friend of Max Starkloff, says,
"While Max is no longer with us, his work and the meaning of his life lives on. The story of his singular life both instructs and inspires."
The Missouri History Museum and Starkloff Disability Institute will host a book launch celebration for Max Starkloff and the Fight for Disability Rights on Tuesday, December 2, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. in the Lee Auditorium at the Missouri History Museum. The public is invited to attend and meet the book's co-authors and many of Max Starkloff's friends and supporters.
An e-book version will be available for Kindle and other e-book devices in January 2015. An audio-book is now in production and will be available in the first half of 2015.
Founded in 2003 by Max and Colleen Starkloff and David Newburger, the Starkloff Disability Institute works to create a world that welcomes people with disabilities.
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