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

Call to Action: Senator Corker Abandons Disability Community; Walks away from Negotiations

Bob CorkerNCIL is saddened to report that Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) walked away from the negotiations on the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (UN CRPD).

He caved to the extreme far right and abdicated his leadership on this bipartisan issue.

Senator Corker made the judgment that the disability community is less powerful than the Astroturf special interest groups pedaling lies against the CRPD. If we do not correct that notion, he will be right.

It is time to hold him responsible. It’s time to let Senator Corker know that we won’t be cast aside like second class citizens.

We will not stand idly by as he hides behind false constitutional arguments. We will hold him responsible for perpetuating far rights myths, lies, and exaggerations.

We are Independent Living. When it comes to protecting the human rights of people with disabilities, we don’t forget and we don’t forgive. We are 57 million strong!

Act Now

Call Senator Corker’s DC and Tennessee offices. You can contact Senator Corker at 202-224-3344, or at [email protected].

He must hear our message loud and clear: Restart the negotiations! Let him know that we will not go away!

Please help spread the word by forwarding this message onto your lists of friends and colleagues so they can join us in sending a message to Senator Corker.


Lump of CoalSenator Corker’s Christmas Gift to One Billion People with Disabilities: A Big Lump of Coal

Source: US International Council on Disabilities (USICD)

Before heading home to spend the holidays with his family, Senator Bob Corker sent a message to the 57.8 million Americans with disabilities, 5.5 million disabled American veterans, and one billion people worldwide with disabilities: appeasing the far-right wing of his caucus is more important than supporting their rights and dignity by supporting the Disability Treaty.

Inspired by U.S. leadership in recognizing the rights of people with disabilities, the Disability Treaty is designed to be a framework for creating laws and policies throughout the world that support the rights and dignity of the billion people worldwide living with disabilities. Ratification of the treaty is supported by a strong and diverse coalition of over 800 disability organizations, veterans groups, business groups, and faith organizations, as well over one thousand Tennesseans who recently signed a petition calling on the Senate to ratify the treaty as soon as possible.

Marca Bristo, President of the US International Council on Disabilities expressed disappointment with Senator Corker’s decision not to support the treaty: “I am shocked and dismayed that Senator Corker would abruptly cut off negotiations surrounding this crucial treaty and fail to support it. Doing so is a betrayal of the millions of Americans with disabilities, professionals, people of faith, and veterans who both need and want the Disability Treaty to be ratified. Our community is strong and committed, and we will continue to press forward in our work to support this treaty.”

Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, added, “By caving to the most extreme isolationists in our nation, Senator Corker has undermined the United States’ reputation as a beacon of freedom for the world. The U.S. is a model for the advancement of transparency and human rights for all, and today’s statement by Senator Corker puts that status in considerable jeopardy. Conspiracy theories about how the CRPD would undermine American sovereignty are not based in reality, but only in the rhetoric of those who wish to fear monger and build walls between us and the rest of the world.  We strongly urge Senator Corker to join the mainstream and to honor the dignity of all Americans by reconsidering this position.”

Heather Ansley, Vice President of VetsFirst, said, “Despite assertions to the contrary, ratification of the CRPD will not endanger U.S. sovereignty. We must not let misinformation limit equal opportunities for veterans and all people living with disabilities. By failing to support CRPD, Senator Corker is failing to support the millions of disabled American veterans who fought bravely in service of this country and its Constitution. To use that very Constitution as a reason not to support the treaty is a betrayal of their service.”