Address: 5240 Oakland
St. Louis, MO 63110
Phone: (314) 289-4200
Fax: (314) 289-4201
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.
Paraquad’s guiding principle is to advance the independent living philosophy. The agency works to make possible a more integrated community, where people with disabilities are valued and participate in all aspects of society. Paraquad strives to make St. Louis more accessible. A more accessible city appeals to all of its members, not just people with disabilities who need more accessible areas.
Paraquad’s Continuing Education program provides free or low-cost community-based academic and independent living classes to adults with developmental disabilities in the St. Louis area. Students can choose from topics such as computer skills, reading, math, cooking, and community access. Transportation is available for eligible participants.
This service ensures a consumer’s employment in the competitive environment is maintained in a long-term capacity. It is initiated once an individual’s Vocational Rehabilitation supported employment benefits have been exhausted or denied, and the individual’s employment support needs are at a frequency of 25% or less of his/her total hours worked.
Paraquad’s Job Retention program is for individuals who currently have a job and need an on-site job skills trainer to help them maintain and improve their work skills, communication skills and excel at being a good employee. This program is for St. Louis City and St. Louis County residents who are at least 18 years old.
People First is a self-advocacy organization led by people with developmental disabilities. It has member-based chapters throughout the United States, including St. Louis. Members work to promote equality for people with disabilities to live as they choose and participate in the community.
Members empower each other to understand their rights and speak up for themselves. They also advocate for community and systems change to ensure that necessary services, supports and opportunities are in place for people with disabilities to live full, rich lives in their communities through individual choice and control.
Meetings are held the fourth Saturday of each month from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. Participation in People First of St. Louis is free and open to residents of St. Louis City who are least 18 years old.