Rollin Shelton, a long-time advocate for human rights and alternatives of mental health consumers and psychiatric survivors, gives a recommendation on a number of talks he has heard by David, including “Forming a New State-Wide Coalition in Oregon of Mental Health Consumers and Psychiatric Survivors!” at the Portland Public Library on 15 February 2008. (A DVD of this talk is available from Flying Focus Video.)
I have heard David Oaks speak at a variety of meetings, and also seen him present in numerous forums. His passion and his commitment have been always manifest as has been his deep awareness that the saying, “Nothing about us without us” — a saying common in the disability rights community — has especial meaning to individuals in the psychiatric consumer/survivor community.
For folks in the psychiatric consumer/survivor community, the saying is nothing less than a declaration that full representation and participation in planning and policymaking bodies is foremost an issue of civil rights, and that the struggle to secure those rights will not be over until they are won. I have never known David to lose sight of that larger goal regardless of the specific topic he might be addressing at any given time.