National Council on Disability Recommends U.S. Ratification of UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on 20th Anniversary of International Day for Persons with Disabilities

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WASHINGTON, DC – The National Council on Disability -- an independent federal agency that makes disability policy recommendations to the President, Congress and other federal agencies – recognized the International Day of Persons with Disabilities December 3 by urging ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities or CRPD, currently under consideration by the U.S. Senate.

The CRPD was conceived with the same goals that the United States had in enacting the Americans with Disabilities Act: the bipartisan effort to empower individuals with disabilities to achieve economic self-sufficiency, independent living, and inclusion and integration into all aspects of society.  In NCD’s mandated advisory capacity recommending policies that enhance the lives of people with disabilities, NCD has a long history promoting the protections Americans enjoy because of the ADA to other nations in both the development and support of the Convention.

The Washington Post wrote on December 3:  “The Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities, which the George W. Bush administration negotiated and signed in 2006, is modeled in large part on the Americans With Disabilities Act, which President George H.W. Bush signed in 1990...ratification would give Americans the standing to lobby other nations to follow the U.S. lead and to offer help to those who want to do so. It’s been signed by 154 countries and ratified by 124.”

Over one billion people, or approximately 15 percent of the world’s population, live with some form of disability. As we join the world in celebrating the 20th anniversary of International Day of Persons with Disabilities today, the National Council on Disability recommends the United States Senate join the more than 120 countries in ratifying this historic treaty. 

About the National Council on Disability: NCD is an independent federal agency of 15 Presidentially-appointed Council Members and full-time professional staff, who advise the President, Congress and other federal agencies on disability policy, programs, and practices.