Darcy is an educator, consultant, human service evaluator, and advocate on behalf of people who
are societally devalued. Darcy is also a parent of 3 children one of whom has an intellectual disability. Darcy has traveled internationally for 35 years and has worked with many different
groups of people, including persons who have themselves been marginalized by society, family members, professionals from different disciplines such as teachers, psychologists, social workers, members
of faith communities, and human service providers from a number of fields (intellectual disability, mental health, and aging).
The focus of Darcy’s work is to encourage development of vision, attitudes, structures, and actions which promote social value and inclusion for people who have disabilities and other
people who have been devalued and excluded. Darcy is passionate about the vision and work of creating inclusive communities: communities where we are all welcome and
where we can each use our gifts for the good of one another.
Darcy's thinking and work has been very influenced by her daughter Mary's life experiences and her presentations reflect both personal and professional perspectives.
As well, Darcy was fortunate to work with Dr. Wolfensberger who is the creator of Social Role Valorization (SRV) and ideas from SRV are woven throughout her work.
"I spend lots of time traveling and meeting
many different people including people with various disabilities. I am always intrigued by the uniqueness of each person that is reflected in his or her gifts, talents, interests, and passions.
I am always struck by the many personal stories of people who live with disabilities that often testify to the struggles of being controlled, subjected to low expectations, and excluded from
society resulting in marginalization. These personal accounts are moving and often uplifting and encouraging. They chronicle the many and extraordinary ways that disabled people often
rise to face the challenges of living in a society that does not truly value them as citizens, nor recognizes their giftedness or even want them around.
As I listen to these stories, I cannot
help but reflect upon the people with disabilities that I have known who have taught me so much, challenged my ideas and perceptions, helped me to 'stretch' and given me opportunities to learn some
very important lessons. My friends are not 'super heros' but are wonderful examples of grace under pressure, courage in times of adversity, and forgiveness in the face of prejudice. Are
these not gifts we could all benefit from and that are needed in any society?
Of course all people have gifts to offer –
people with and without disabilities. The great sadness and challenge to society is that in contrast to people without disabilities, people with disabilities are not accorded their rightful place as
citizens in typical societal pathways, nor are their many gifts recognized. If we are to be rich in our cultures, and have whole, healthy, thriving societies, we must welcome, include, and
embrace all of our citizens so that each person’s gifts can bless and strengthen us all."