David Taylor is a self-advocate, peer mentor and motivational speaker; he is also a person with developmental disabilities. Currently Mr. Taylor speaks in various arenas about how Self-Determination and Person-Centered Planning services have made a major impact on the life he lives today.
Mr. Taylor works as a Peer Mentor at Community Living Services of Oakland County. He credits the agency with starting him on his journey toward self-sufficiency and independence. He uses his own experiences to inspire others like him who depend on the community mental health system for their support. He speaks about being in control of his own mental health dollars that are budgeted for his care through Self-Determination, and encourages peers to take control of their budgeted funds so that they too can, "hire the people that provide the assistance needed to maintain their lives."
During his presentations, Mr. Taylor often reminds his audiences that in his younger years he went through a lot due to issues related to having a developmental disability. Those experiences of poor treatment that he received from other students in school, heightened his determination to become an advocate and speak out for better conditions for people with physical and mental challenges of all kinds. Mr. Taylor is proud to live freely in his community in his own apartment.
Through speaking engagements, Mr. Taylor has had the opportunity to travel all over the U.S. speaking to others about his experiences with Self-Determination; encouraging more people to live the life that they desire in the community. Mr. Taylor is grateful for the many opportunities that have come from his job, including sitting on many boards and councils, and invitations to share his story with people from all walks of life.
Mr. Taylor believes that he is living proof that the community mental health system is working, and he is committed to speaking out for change to ensure that systems make change to enhance the lives of people with disabilities. Mr. Taylor feels that systems change will enhance the ability of persons with disability to find their true place in society and be assets to their respective communities.