This presentation was delivered by Darcy Elks at Family Advocacy's 2007 Odyssey Conference.
People with disabilities are the bearers of personal and community gifts. These gifts are often overlooked in the ordinary struggle and sometimes overwhelming demands of everday life. Indeed negative mindsets and expectations often swirl around people with disabilities and it is not unusual for funding sources and services to force families to focus on deficits and limitations commonly associated with disability. Such a focus often leads to a life path that is quite different from non disabled peers -- one which may marginalize the person with a disability and be lacking in the richness and fullness of a "good life". This presentation will seek to recognize the gifts that people with disability bring to the world and how these gifts can enrich us all as well as open up possibilities for full inclusive life within community