Throughout the world millions of children and adults are denied an education, opportunities to work, and basic rights merely because they are blind, visually impaired, or have other disabilities.
Adopted in December 2006, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) sets forth rights and protections that should be afforded to all persons with disabilities. This UN Convention also recognizes the right of children with disabilities to have access to equal, quality education.
On July 26th, the 22nd anniversary of the Signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations voted in favor of the UN CRPD. But, the Convention must still be ratified by the Senate before it can be implemented.
It is essential that Americans with and without disabilities make their support for the CRPD heard now.
Please ask your Senators to support ratification of the UN CRPD because no child should be denied an education due to a disability.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that there are more than 150 million children
in the world with disabilities. Eighty percent of these children live in the developing world, and
more than 90 percent do not receive a formal education.
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) accepts that
meeting the needs of persons with disabilities is a human rights issue and recognizes the right of
children with disabilities to have access to equal, quality education.
The CRDP reflects core American values I know you share. These include the dignity of the
individual, access to justice, respect for the home and family and access to education. The treaty
affirms America's historic leadership in disability rights laws to promote, protect and ensure the
rights of persons with disabilities; and is consistent with the American Disability Act (ADA), the
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and other
U.S. disability laws.
I hope you will support a Senate vote to ratify the CRPD so that the United States can join the other 119 countries that have already ratified the Convention.
Your support will affirm U.S. leadership in the promotion and protection of human rights for all individuals with disabilities, while improving the lives of more than a billion people worldwide.