Saturday, August 30, 2014

Reasons You Should Borrow or Buy one Book on the CRPD

On September 8, 2014 Senators will return to Washington, D.C. Everyone, who has not gotten what they wanted from Senators, will be nipping at their heals asking for their legislation to be considered and passed during the precious few weeks left in September. Crises around the world will demand and absorb much of that time. Race relations and immigration issues will consume much of the domestic political oxygen. Budget and appropriation issues will need to be resolved. And finally, passing a treaty, any treaty (except for those dealing with fishing) is a daunting task. Read Joshua Keating in Slate, The U.S. Will Not Ratify any Treaty Unless It Has to Do with Fish (

So promoting ratification of the Convention in the Rights of a Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) is not for whimps. Now you might say that it's not your job, the government relations people at the associations to which you pay mega bucks should take care of the end game. After all, they know the details. They know who to press. Besides, you're busy, with the start of the school year and everything else.

I understand. However, in all honesty, it is going to take something from all of us, each of us, to secure ratification.

One thing may help you stay with the ratification campaign. You've been with it, even as a spectator, if you have read my posts. There is nothing out there like my book, A Moral Imperative: U.S. Ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (, $2.99 at the KindleStore, which has an App so you can read a Kindle book on any device). If you need a "person-on-the-street" explanation of the points of contention, it's in the book. If you need profiles of key Senators with contact information, they're in the book. If you need talking points, they're in the book. If you need to know why some parents who home school their children with disabilities are scared witless, the answer is in the book. If you want to know why ratification is a very good idea, the answer in the book. Think of my book like a one-stop shop. The information will quickly, easily fortify you, so you can take that few minutes to contact your Senators and be credible. Every Senator needs to hear from us. They need to put the CRPD ON THE FRONT BURNER IN SEPTEMBER.

All of my earlier predictions have come to pass. With that fact behind me, let me make one more -- September may represent the last chance to ratify the CRPD.

I have maintained this blog for you, in good faith, since August 9, 2014. When the Congress breaks at the end of September, I plan to shut it down or shift it to other things. Here's hoping and praying that each of you will help make ratification happen and bring real meaning to the 15,860 plus hits this blog has received.

Thank you.
Common Grounder

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

My Letter to Senator Menendez

August 26, 2014

Dear Senator Menendez:

The views in this letter are my own.

We face challenging times. In September I know your time will be consumed by how to respond to the projected growing threat from ISIS, the crisis in the Ukraine, and the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians. Therefore, there will be scarce time to pursue and manage a vote on the resolution to advise and consent on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Nonetheless, I plead with you to find the time.

Word on the street is that you need tons of phone calls. Again? We will do that if we must, but I have three questions for you and look forward to receiving your answers:

1.    Are floor amendments to the CRPD off the table?
2.    Are you willing, with a member-to-member effort, to get a vote count? There are 60 Senators who would help you if you asked.
3.    Are you willing to ask Majority Leader Reid to schedule a floor vote in September, regardless of the estimated vote count?

I maintain a blog on the CRPD, which has had 15,000 plus views from around the world (; have written a book on the CRPD, A Moral Imperative: U.S. Ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (A Kindle book,, which has been ranked #1 in its category five times over the last seven weeks); and maintain a Facebook page to promote ratification (, with over 10,000 “likes”).

Clearly there is interest and support for ratification. Many, many people are prepared to be resources if the U.S. has the good sense to use ratification as a diplomatic tool. There are thousands of people and hundreds of companies ready, willing, and able to share human/disability rights expertise and accessibility-related products with the rest of the planet, and many countries are waiting to accept them.

Please take the time to make a Senate floor vote happen in September. We can live with the consequences. We will know where we stand with each of the 100 Senators. We will know what to do after the vote.


Patricia Morrissey, Ph.D.
A member of the U.S. delegation to the United Nations when the CRPD was being drafted
Board Member, U.S. International Council on Disabilities