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Time to Ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

July 28, 2014

Getting right to the point: some U.S. senators oppose a UN treaty, the UN Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), that essentially encourages other countries to adopt America’s laws for protecting the disabled, as codified in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and other civil rights laws.  One hundred and forty three countries have ratified the CRPD. While President Obama signed it in 2009, the Senate failed by only five votes to ratify it back in 2012. Our NY senators support the treaty but contacting them to show YOUR support will embolden them to put pressure on their colleagues to vote YES on the next vote.

Let’s do some history…

 

The passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990 was a proud day for Americans. We led the world in making laws to vigorously protect the rights of people with disabilities who for too long had suffered discrimination in the job market, public transportation, voting access and even housing. For example, before the ADA, an employer could reject the application of a qualified employee because he or she was in some way disabled.  In essence, the ADA said “NO” to a whole host of ways that employers and institutions once discriminated against people in wheelchairs, with hearing impairments, and a variety of mental impairments and other limitations.

Because of the ADA, employers, state and municipal governments, and other institutions, are required to reasonably accommodate persons with disabilities by modifying and/or adjusting facilities and equipment, and work schedules. Additionally, and admirably, the federal government provides tax incentives for employers to reasonably accommodate disabled employees as described above.

 

The CRPD elevates the principles of the ADA, as summarized above, in a global treaty. Why would anyone oppose this? Opponents assert that the treaty tramples on U.S. sovereignty, will force us to change our laws, and will affect the rights of parents in how they educate their children. I believe the opponents are typical UN-bashers or buying in to scare tactics with zero-basis in fact about UN bureaucrats intervening in private family decisions. 

 

You make up your own mind by reading opinions for and against the CRPD.

 

Again, if you support the CRPD then tell your senator