Shining a light: City of Fishers celebrates Disability Awareness Month in March


During her senior year of college, Fishers resident Darcy Keith suffered a traumatic brain injury in a car crash. Keith lost memory of all her college major classes and had to start over in a different major.

Now, 30 years later, Keith is sharing her story as the keynote speaker at a March 1 event to kick off Disability Awareness Month in the City of Fishers.

“Having a brain injury is like having attention deficit. You can’t concentrate on what you want to remember, and if you can’t concentrate, you can’t retain, and then you can’t recall,” Keith said.

Keith said her injury was devastating. She experienced short-term memory loss that caused her to change her college major from actuary sciences to insurance and attend classes for nearly two more years before graduating.

Keith, 52, is now a business analyst for State Auto Insurance. She also is a professional speaker and has given talks to the Baltimore Ravens and the Indianapolis Colts, among many other organizations.

“I am not the typical individual with a brain injury. A lot of us aren’t able to function after our injury,” she said. “A lot of us don’t have stamina or mental ability. It depends upon which part of the brain is injured. We are in the same lake navigating the same storm but in different boats.

“Some of us may be in bigger boats than others. It depends on how much we are able to recover from our injury.”

Keith will share her story during the March 1 event and will discuss signs and symptoms of a brain injury.

“For example, (actor) Bob Saget died due to trauma to his head. We aren’t sure how he injured his head, but he went to sleep and died from the impact on the brain,” Keith said. “I’m going to talk about how injuries can happen to us, and we may not be aware.”

Keith said when her husband was 40, he suffered a stroke and had to relearn things he’d known how to do all his life.

“It can happen anytime, anywhere, to anybody,” she said. “It’s not discriminatory. That’s not to sound like a negative thing, it’s more of awareness. It’s an educational piece to give hope and show resources are out there to help us navigate through this new lifestyle.”

The City of Fishers will present events throughout March dedicated to Disability Awareness Month. Events will be presented in partnerships with the OneZone Chamber of Commerce, the Fishers parks system and the Hamilton East Public Library.

Fishers City Council member Cecilia Coble and Fishers resident Kelly Hartman are co-chairs for the Fishers Advisory Committee on Disability.

“The Fishers Advisory Committee on Disability assists the city’s efforts in promoting inclusion and accessibility and strives to make Fishers a community where people with physical and intellectual disabilities can live life without limits,” said Coble, who is the parent of an adult daughter with autism and intellectual disabilities. “The month of March will offer the community an opportunity to learn more about understanding the challenges facing individuals with physical and intellectual disabilities, such as accessibility, inclusion and employment opportunities.”

Hartman said Fishers is a leader in central Indiana for disability advocacy.

“This month is really a culmination of all things coming together after our committee has put in so much effort into planning, collaborating and advocating,” Hartman said. “It is just amazing to see how our community continues to come together toward acceptance and inclusivity of all people. We all have things we are good at and things we are challenged by. March celebrates our efforts to focus on capabilities.”

For more, visit

CIF COVER 0301 disability awareness4
Kelly Hartman and Cecilia Coble, center, the co-chairs for the Fishers Advisory Committee on Disability, celebrate a kick-off event for the 2020 Disability Awareness Month. (File photo)

Calendar of events

2022 Disability Awareness Month Kick-Off: Achieving More Together featuring Darcy Keith: 8:30 to 10 a.m. March 1 at Fishers City Hall Auditorium, 1 Municipal Dr. Registration is not required for this free event.

Fishers Parks’ Storywalk: Can Bears Ski?: Daily from March 2 to March 31 at Brooks School Park, 11780 Brooks School Rd. Take a self-guided hike and enjoy the children’s book “Can Bears Ski?” by Raymond Antrobus. Registration is not required for this free event.

OneZone Luncheon: A Photographic Journey Through an Inaccessible World: From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 9 at Forum Events Center, 11313 USA Pkwy. Doug Goeppner will speak on how the world is experienced by individuals with disabilities. Event registration is required.

2022 Hamilton County Transition Fair: from 6 to 7:30 p.m. March 16 at Hamilton Southeastern High School, 12499 Olio Rd. Get local resources for life’s transitions from service providers around Hamilton County and surrounding areas. Registration is not required for this free event.

PRISM Project of Fishers: Spring Performance: From 2 to 4 p.m. March 20 at The Switch Theatre, 10029 E. 126th St. Watch a live performance from The PRISM Project of Fishers, an inclusive performing arts program for children and young adults with disabilities and their typical peers, ages 6 to 22. Tickets can be purchased at

OneZone Caffeinated Conversation: Disability Employment Discussion with Providers: From 8 to 9 a.m. March 22 at Courtyard by Marriott, 11550 Whistle Dr. Find resources and information about the hiring and training process of employees with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Event registration is required.

Celebrating Beethoven’s 250th Birthday: 4 p.m. March 27 at Legacy Bible Church, 13490 Howe Rd.  Join Fishers Music Works’ White River Chamber Orchestra to celebrate the brilliant composer whose music demonstrates the triumph over his hearing disability. This concert is open to the public. More information can be found at

Hamilton East Public Library Workshops: Various dates and times throughout the month. Tune in to free workshops in honor of Disability Awareness Month hosted by the Hamilton East Public Library. Registration is required. Register at