Around 61 million people (nearly one in four) people in the United States are living with some sort of disability. People with disabilities are often excluded from social relationships, community participation, leisure activities, and employment.

Paraquad is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to empower people with disabilities to increase their independence through choice and opportunity. Founded in St. Louis in 1970 by Max Starkloff, Paraquad is one of the oldest Centers for Independent Living in the country.

As part of VOYCE’s Community Education Series, we were joined by Kimberly Lackey, Senior Director of Programs at Paraquad. Kimberly’s presentation describes the important role Paraquad plays in supporting the needs of people living with disabilities in the St. Louis area.


Paraquad champions equity and independence for people with disabilities through services, partnerships, education, and advocacy.


  • Paraquad envisions an integrated society free of barriers and discrimination where disability is viewed as a natural part of human diversity.

As Ms. Lackey highlighted to our audience, “ Paraquad provides five core services: Advocacy, Independent Living Skills Training, Information and Referral, Peer Support and Transition.”

“Paraquad’s tagline — The Disability Experts — is more than just a catchy slogan. We have more than 100 employees working hard every day to change the conversation about disabilities in St. Louis. From empowering a person with a disability to transition from a nursing home into their own home or partnering with a major corporation to show why accessibility is so important, Paraquad has the resources to make positive change in St. Louis. More than half of Paraquad staff members and board members have a disability.”

Thank you to Ms. Lackey for joining us to present as part of our Community Education Series as we learned about the amazing work of Paraquad – Making Independence Accessible.

For more information on our guest speaker and their services please visit:


Paraquad – Continuing Education

Paraquad – Independent Living Services

Paraquad – Stephen A. Orthwein Center

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