When I began writing blog posts on August 9, 2013, I was guided by one assumption. People that supported ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and those who did not were intelligent, thoughtful people. I thought if I outlined differences in a fair, honest, and accurate way, that some people on both sides would read what I wrote, and then sit down and draft clarifications together on how the CRPD would work in the U.S. They would offer their consensus-based recommendations to all members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Their recommendations would be voted on and passed. And as a result, the CRPD would be ratified.
I am not naive. I know doing what I just described would not be easy or quick. But, I believed it could be done if everyone operated in good faith. Why? I spent the better part of 30 years negotiating language – that became law – related to disability rights. In every case we overcame differences and crafted legislation, like the Americans with Disabilities Act, which became models for the rest of the world. I saw it happen over and over again.
The CRPD is a non-discrimination treaty. It is family friendly. It is progressive. It would work with our Constitution and laws. It would not alter the balance between federal and state governments. Some, in the anti-CRPD corner, twist and turn or omit information so the CRPD is equivalent to an imminent nuclear threat, especially to homeschoolers. An even bigger threat is that some homeschoolers, people engaged in preparing young minds for the future, believe what the anti-CRPD forces are spreading.
Here is a link to a video I watched this afternoon -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pe38o_ftOfI. It was the catalyst for this post. Please, if you are a homeschooler, read my posts. I will be glad to send them to you as a PDF file. Share them with your friends. My email address is AmDreamBelongstoEveryone@comcast.net. I would like to hear from you and hear about your family.
I have cerebral palsy, the result of a birth injury. My Mom was the guiding light and force in my life. She made sure I received a good education. In my professional life I have witnessed the wisdom and power of parents, who played and continue to play a central role in shaping U.S. disability rights policy. Please consider joining with those of us who support ratification of the CRPD, so it will become what it could and should be. And short of that, keep an open mind, ask tough questions, demand answers, then make up your mind on the CRPD. But most of all don’t let anyone scare you.