James Meadours is a nationally recognized civil rights and sexual assault prevention activist in the self-advocacy movement. As a young adult, he was placed in a group home and worked in a sheltered workshop, and discovered his interest in self-advocacy when he sought the assistance of a People First advisor in changing his voting card.
Mr. Meadours has held various leadership positions within the field. He was the President of People First of Oklahoma and later served as a VISTA volunteer. He was chair of the national organization SABE (Self-Advocates Becoming Empowered) and was one of the first self-advocates hired by the Texas Protection and Advocacy Association, where he worked a Self-Advocacy Specialist.
As a survivor of a number of sexual assaults throughout his life, he is dedicated to educating others about the high rate of sexual violence in the disability community. He presents at local, state and national conferences, at rape crisis centers, to disability and child advocates, as well as law enforcement, about this critical topic. Mr. Meadours provides consultation on sexual violence and disability-related projects to federal agencies and non-profits, like the Vera Institute of Justice. He also serves on The Arc’s National Center on Criminal Justice and Disability’s (NCCJD) National Advisory Committee. In 2017, he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by The Arc of Tulsa and in 2018, he was interviewed by NPR’s Joe Shapiro for the Abused and Betrayed series that uncovered the high rate of sexual assault among people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. James resides in San Antonio, Texas but travels willingly to wherever his message still needs to be heard.
Connect with James on his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/james.meadours