Veterans of America is extremely disappointed that the United States
Senate today failed to ratify the United Nations Convention
on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD) treaty-a treaty
inspired by the landmark civil rights legislation, the Americans
with Disabilities Act.
"Today marks a very sad day for all Americans with disabilities and an
enormous missed opportunity for American leadership," said Bill
Lawson, National President of Paralyzed Veterans. "Paralyzed
Veterans has long championed the rights and freedoms of people with
disabilities, particularly those men and women who honorably served this
nation. Ratification of this treaty would have helped to expand
accessibility across the world for millions of people with disabilities,
a portion of whom wore the uniform of this nation to preserve and
advance freedom. That freedom includes the right to travel to other
parts of the world and to access the global economy."
The CRPD, signed by more than 150 countries, addresses the equal rights
of persons with disabilities. Countries who have ratified the treaty
agree to "undertake to ensure and promote the full realization of all
human rights and fundamental freedoms for all persons with disabilities
without discrimination of any kind on the basis of disability." Despite
bi-partisan support in the Senate, ratification of the treaty failed on
a 61-38 vote, with 67 votes needed for ratification.
"At a time when people with disabilities continue to face hardships at
home, in the community, and in the workplace, we cannot understand the
reluctance of some members of the Senate to ratify this important
treaty," stated Lawson. "We urge the Senators who voted against this
treaty to reconsider their vote, and encourage Senate leadership to keep
bringing the treaty up for vote until it is ratified."
Veterans was founded by a group of seriously injured American heroes
from the "Greatest Generation" of World War II. They created a nonprofit
organization to meet the challenges that they faced back in the 1940s -
from a medical community not ready to treat them to an inaccessible
world. For more than 66 years, Paralyzed Veterans' national office and
its 34 chapters
across the nation have been making America a better place for all
veterans and people with disabilities.
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