Paraquad

David B. Gray obituary
Provided by Washington University

David Gray, a scientist who relentlessly championed the right of people with disabilities to live independent, satisfying lives, has died.

Mr. Gray, a professor of neurology and occupational therapy at Washington University School of Medicine, wanted much more for others than had been available to him after he fell and broke his neck during the summer of 1976. It left him a quadriplegic, paralyzed from the neck down.

Camille Phillips/St. Louis Public Radio

Saturday is the 24th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The law requires public accommodations be made for people with disabilities and prohibits employment discrimination.

St. Louis has been on the forefront of disability advocacy since the 1970s, led by Paraquad founders Max and Colleen Starkloff. Through the efforts of Paraquad and the Starkloffs, St. Louis became the first city in the country to have lift-equipped buses. Members of Paraquad also traveled to Washington, D.C. to lobby for the passage of the ADA.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

A package of bills that Gov. Jay Nixon says is about "dignity and practicality" for the 100,000 Missouri individuals with a developmental or intellectual disability is now law.

Gov. Nixon signed the legislation today at Paraquad, one of the largest centers in the country dedicated to helping disabled individuals live independently. Its founder, Max Starkloff, died Dec. 27.

(via Flickr/GIANTsqurl)

Good morning! Here are some of today's starting headlines:

Mo. Gov. Nixon to sign legislation related to disability issues

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is preparing to sign legislation addressing several physical and mental disability issues. The governor has scheduled a signing ceremony for this morning at Paraquad Independent Living Center in St. Louis.

Max Starkloff with his daughter, Emily
File photo | Bill Greenblatt | UPI

Funeral services for disability rights pioneer Max Starkloff have been set.

  • Funeral arrangements are pending for Max Starkloff, a longtime advocate for the disabled in the St. Louis area. Friends told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he had recently developed the flu. Starkloff was a quadriplegic since age 21, when he was injured in an automobile accident. He founded Paraquad Inc. and led crusades that convinced St. Louis to install wheelchair temps on sidewalks and lifts on buses.