Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The CRPD: the Time We Have Is Precious, Let's Use It Wisely

There are 75 days till the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the 24th. The collective wisdom is that we work very hard to secure Senate ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), an international disability rights treaty, the week of July 21st. All of my previous blog posts constitute a crash course on the CRPD, and in a way, a timeline since August 9, 2013 on what was in important, who was important, or why something was important.

I know no one has the time to read 73 blog posts. So I have summarized some key points here.

Some things to remember about the CRPD:

1. All developed countries and our principal allies and trading partners have ratified the CRPD.
2. The CRPD does not require the rights and opportunities extended to persons with disabilities exceed those available to other citizens of a country.
3. Ratification of the CRPD by the Senate would not trigger the need to change U.S. laws or to spend money.
4. Ratification would put us on the same playing field with 140+ countries, which have ratified the CRPD, and would give us a seat at the table when international standards are being set on accessibility and assistive technology.
5. Ratification would give us the right to urge, help, and yes, officially complain, on matters related to compliance or lack thereof with 
the CRPD.
6. Ratification would remove any confusion or objection about where the U.S. stands on disability rights.

These reasons should be shared with our Senators now. They should also be shared with our friends. We cannot let those, who fear joining other countries in ratifying the CRPD, shape and control how we are viewed and where we stand on something so fundamentally right and good.

Thank you.
Common Grounder 

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