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Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

Action Alert: White House Sends U.N. Disability Treaty to the Senate for Ratification

Judy Heumann at the 2011 NCIL ConferenceSource: Fifth Freedom / Disability Scoop / the White House

In 2009, President Obama signed the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. On Thursday, May 17, the Convention was finally sent to the Senate for approval.

By adopting the Convention, the United States would join more than 140 other countries in committing themselves to protecting the rights of people with disabilities, passing laws and regulations to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities, and repealing any laws that might lead to discrimination. 

Article 1 of the Convention states that its purpose is to “promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity”.

Among others, the rights of people with disabilities described in the Convention include:

  • Living independently
  • Being included in the community
  • Personal mobility
  • Education
  • Health
  • Participation in political and public life
  • Participation in cultural life, recreation, leisure and sports
  • The right to accessible public transportation

Read the Convention or learn more about it on Wikipedia.

If this issue is important to you, you may wish to contact your Senator with your opinion. Find your Senator’s contact information.