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Do it Naturally - Building Connections and Relationships

  • Starfire 5030 Oaklawn Dr Cincinnati, OH 45227 (map)


Fee: There will be no fee to take part in this workshop, due to the generosity of event hosts Good Life Networks

For questions - please contact


o Friday, September 27 – 9:00 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.

o Saturday, September 28, 9:00 a.m. until 1:30 p.m.

Lunches will be available on both Friday and Saturday. Suggested donation.

About this Workshop. 

On Sept 27 & Saturday Sept 28 hear from Darcy Elks on Social Role Valorization - and how families and communities can apply its lessons in practical ways.

Everyone needs connection with other people. Our lives are full when they include loved ones, friends, and a rich array of other relationships. For some of us, though, that fullness, that richness is elusive. We recognize that those citizens who have been spun to the margins of society—because of prejudice and social devaluation—are likely as well to be isolated or lonely. Connection and relationship building become, for them and for us who care about them, critical life-issues.

We must be cautious, though, about how we embark on enriching the relationship-lives of those people we care about. Many such efforts have drifted into reliance on artificial methods, which can inadvertently further isolate people. It is better for us to choose natural and time-tested ways to connect people and to develop and sustain relationships. Lets use methods that we know can be effective. Those include methods that derive from Social Role Valorization (SRV).

This workshop, organized and presented by Darcy Elks, will offer participants an opportunity to learn, think, and brainstorm about these questions:

• What has created or led to the exclusion and profound loneliness of people who have been societally devalued?

• What natural pathways for making connections and solidifying relationships exist in our society? How can we use those pathways effectively?

• What strategies focus on relationship-building, and how can we use them?

• How can we deal with the challenges that arise when we try to encourage contacts and relationships between people who have been excluded and people who are already seen as belonging?

• What are the benefits of using natural pathways—culturally tried and true ways of connecting and building relationships?

• What is the role of “partnership” in building relationships naturally—i.e., the roles of family members (including siblings), support workers, members of circles-of-support?

About the Presenter, Darcy Elks: Darcy is an educator, consultant, 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 that 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. Wolf Wolfensberger who is the creator of Social Role Valorization (SRV), and ideas from SRV are woven throughout her work.

Later Event: October 8
Community Conversations