The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) is an international treaty addressing disability rights. This treaty draws much from the U.S.’s own Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). By signing this treaty, countries are pledging a commitment to improve access to communities for people with disabilities and ensure that people with disabilities are given the same basic human rights that are granted to other non-disabled individuals. Despite the support of over 350 American disability organizations, 21 veteran service organizations and 26 faith organizations, this past December, the U.S. Senate failed to ratify the treaty, falling short by only five votes.
On Monday March 4th, a group of 10 disability advocates met at Senator Bob Corker’s Chattanooga office to discuss the CRPD. The group of disability advocates met with one of Senator Corker’s advisers to discuss why we would like his support of the CRPD. Ratification is important if America wants to continue its’ leadership role in ensuring the rights of people with disabilities. This treaty is important for our citizens here, but would also open many doors for people with disabilities to study, work, and travel aboard. The group voiced our stance on this matter, and we believe that once the treaty is fully read and understood, that supporting this treaty simply makes sense. With Senator Corker being the new senior member on foreign policy, we are hoping for his support of the CRPD.
Submitted by the Center for Independent Living of Middle Tennessee