the advocacy monitor

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

U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

New Advocacy Campaign to Ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

CRPD Yes! 2012 signNCIL members, your advocacy on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) has been very effective. Your outreach through calls, emails, and social media prompted the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to vote the CRPD out of committee on the 22nd Anniversary of the ADA!  When NCIL members gathered in Washington, DC for the 2012 Annual Conference, talking with your Senators during Hill Visits provided important advocacy by educating lawmakers on the importance of the CRPD to the disability community.

Congress is on recess until November 13, 2012, at which point the “lame duck” session will begin.  We are close to achieving our goal of Ratification of the CRPD.  The disability advocacy community is coming together to be a part of a Three Phase Campaign that started Monday, October 22 and runs through the end of the year!  [Read more…]

CRPD Action Day: Take 3 Minutes Today to Contact Your Senators for The CRPD!

CRPD Sticker: Ratify CRPD Yes!Today is our Action Day for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities!

The opposition has stated that the disability community is uninformed and does not really support the disability rights treaty. We are being significantly outnumbered by the opposition on calls and contacts via social media. We need every U.S. Senate member to be contacted and to know that the disability community is leading the movement for U.S. ratification of this international disability treaty and our voice matters! Get your friends, family, and work colleagues to make calls, Tweet and Twitpic, email and Facebook today to show support!  [Read more…]

Action Alert: Help Push the CRPD over the Finish Line!

CRPD Sticker: Ratify CRPD Yes!On September 20, 2012 a debate on passage of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) took place in the Senate. Senate leadership moved for Unanimous Consent to bring up the treaty for a vote after the November elections but before the new Congress convenes, the period of time known as the “lame duck session”.

Opponents of the treaty objected on the grounds that newly elected officials should be allowed to vote on important issues.

Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tom Harkin (D-IA) spoke in support of the CRPD. You can watch the debate (uncaptioned) or read the testimonies on C-SPAN[Read more…]

Action Alert! CRPD National Call-In Day Monday, September 17!

CRPD LogoOn Monday, September 17, join the National Call-In Day asking your Senators to support the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)!

The treaty needs at least 67 Senators to vote “aye” in order for it to be ratified. The NCIL staff continues diligently advocating in DC for ratification, but we need your outreach to ensure success.

Take Action! Call your Senators and tell them: “Senator, please support the CRPD.  It is important to the disability community!” Find your Senators >>

Then get your family, friends, co-workers and other community members to call in as well!  [Read more…]

Action Alert: Tell your Senators to Ratify the CRPD Today!

Liberty and Justice for ALL 2012 signWe are one step closer to ratification! On July 26th, the 22nd Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the first step in the process to ratify the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) was completed!

The United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a mark-up hearing and voted the treaty out of committee by a 13-6 count. It is our hope that the CRPD will be brought to the floor for a full vote by the members of the Senate within the next few days.

The CRPD is a non-discrimination treaty seeking to achieve the same goals as the ADA and other existing disability laws in the United States: to empower individuals with disabilities to achieve economic self-sufficiency, independent living, inclusion, and integration into all aspects of society. The CRPD is important to all people with disabilities because it embodies equal treatment and non-discrimination in access to employment, educational, and housing opportunities.  [Read more…]

Join the CRPD National Call Monday, July 30!

CRPD LogoSource: U.S. International Council on Disabilities (USICD)

Next week the CRPD will enter its final stage for a full floor vote in the Senate.  It is essential that every Senator hears the American disability community’s support behind this important treaty in order to achieve successful ratification! Call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 or contact your two U.S. Senators online.

Please join DREDF and USICD for a national teleconference for updates on Thursday’s vote and important details on this final step!

  • Date: Monday, July 30th
  • Time: 2:00 p.m. Eastern / 11:00 a.m. Pacific
  • RSVP online

See real time updates at USICD’s CRPD Updates Website.

Urgent CRPD Call-In Day Today!

CRPD Supporters at the 2011 NCIL RallySource: Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund and U.S. International Council on Disabilities


Last week’s warm reception in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was good for us, but it provoked a storm of calls from the opposition, led by the Homeschool Legal Defense Association and Rick Santorum. Rick Santorum has a large following. He’s using Twitter, Facebook and his substantial email list to provoke opposition and it is working. We need to raise our voices in determined response!


Identify yourself and your connection to disability (person with a disability, parent of a child with a disability, etc.), then tell your Senator “I support ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and as your constituent I request that you support the CRPD at the Committee meeting on July 19. Please vote in favor of the treaty in Committee, and move it forward to a floor vote in the Senate!”   [Read more…]

Support CRPD Ratification: Participate in A National Call Day and Sign-On Letter!

CRPD Yes! 2012 sign

Source: U.S. International Council on Disabilities (USICD); Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF)

After months of action by the disability community, a hearing in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities will be held on the morning of Thursday, July 12, 2012. It is vital that Americans with and without disabilities make support for the CRPD heard in the Senate.

Sign- On Letter

A letter (PDF) has been developed for members of the disability community and our allies to show our support for the CRPD to the Committee. You can sign on as an individual or, if authorized, as an organization by noon Eastern tomorrow, July 11, 2012.  [Read more…]

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.  [Read more…]

Action Alert! Tell the White House: Send the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Treaty to the Senate Now

CRPD LogoIt is time to send a message to the White House: transmit the CRPD treaty to the Senate immediately! The CRPD Committee, an 18 member international committee that oversees implementation of the treaty, is holding elections for nine of its members in September at the UN. The U.S. must ratify in order to nominate a U.S. citizen to serve on the Committee and / or to vote for the nine open seats.

[Read more…]