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Letter to the editor: Ratify CRPD treaty

Tuesday, July 30, 2013 - 12:01 am

Over the past several days, in honor of the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), organizations representing people with disabilities and individuals with disabilities have worked to urge the U.S. Senate to ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) Treaty.

The treaty, modeled after the ADA, offers a vital framework for creating laws and policies around the world that embrace the rights and dignity of all people with disabilities.

Ratification will allow the U.S. to maintain its leadership role and legitimacy to export the ADA model abroad, and give the U.S. an opportunity to play an important role in developing disability rights worldwide, without changing any U.S. laws or adding any additional costs to its budget.

What does it mean for U.S. citizens? Americans with disabilities face barriers and discrimination when traveling or studying abroad. By ratifying the CRPD, the U.S. will reduce barriers globally and ensure that Americans have the same access they enjoy in the U.S. when they travel to or study in other countries.

In 2013, ratification of the CRPD failed by just five votes.

John Dickerson, executive director, The Arc of Indiana