The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) is an international treaty that protects the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities, empowering them to be independent, productive citizens.
CRPD entered into force on May 3, 2008. It is a significant step towards improving the lives of people with disabilities worldwide. Today, many disabled individuals experience social exclusion and poverty.
The United States of America signed CRPD on July 30, 2009. However, the Senate must still ratify it. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where the treaty currently resides, is scheduled to vote on it July 26.
The CRPD supports and strengthens the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). It is not anything new; the ADA is coming up on it's 22nd birthday. It will not require any changes in law or create any costs. Ratification by the Senate would show that America is committed to support the civil rights of disabled individuals both at home and abroad.
CRPD has bipartisan support in the Senate, so there is a good chance it will be ratified by the full Senate if it gets out of committee. Please encourage your senators to support this bill.
The contact information for the Senators on the Foreign Relations committee is:
Chairman: Senator John Kerry (D-MA)
Chief counsel: Andrew Keller
Ranking Member: Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN)
Chief counsel: Michael Mattler
Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), Co-Sponsor of CRPD
Foreign Relations Legislative Aide: Amber Bland
Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA)
Foreign Relations Legislative Aide: Ann Norris