David Williams AM

Disability advocate

2019 ACT Local Hero

For people with an intellectual disability, it can be challenging to have their voices heard. But David Williams is helping these people to speak up for themselves, instead of relying on others.

David founded the Confident Speakers program 22 years ago, providing participants with the skills and tools they need to communicate their viewpoint and participate in the broader community. The program combines a structured communication course with social engagement, encouragement and mentoring.

This approach, along with David's persistence and care, has seen participants who seemed non-verbal, grow in confidence, and deliver presentations to others and the community. Participants have also prepared and delivered papers at international conferences, including the International Down Syndrome Congress and the 2013 World Down Syndrome Day at the UN.

David's dedication to people with disabilities has included coordinating five fundraising balls for the ACT Down Syndrome Association, assisting in the Annual Buddy Walk and delivering the ACT's Athlete Leadership Program for Special Olympics over 6 years.