For Immediate Release
Date: December 3, 2013
Contact: Amina Donna Kruck
VP/ Advocacy Programs
Arizona Bridge to Independent Living – ABILITY360
On the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Arizona Bridge to Independent Living
Calls for Ratification of Disability Treaty
Today, the global community celebrates the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. In the spirit of this year’s theme, “Break Barriers, Open Doors: for an inclusive society and development for all”, Arizona Bridge to Independent Living calls on the United States Senate to support the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, an international disability treaty designed to promote dignity, human rights, and inclusion for people with disabilities worldwide.
Inspired by U.S. leadership in recognizing the rights of people with disabilities, the treaty serves as a vital framework for creating legislation and policies around the world that embrace the rights and dignity of all people with disabilities. By joining over 135 countries and ratifying this treaty, the United States has an opportunity to have a seat at the table in developing these policies, and to make sure that our “gold standard” in disability rights, the Americans with Disabilities Act, is the model upon which other countries create legislation with regard to people with disabilities.
“The CRPD will support improved circumstances for millions of people with disabilities around the world and support the travel, study exchange and work opportunities for veterans, their family members, students and other Americans with disabilities. We have had the Americans with Disabilities Act for over 20 years and our country is a model of accessibility. We have a moral duty to share this expertise with other nations where conditions for children and adults with disabilities is inaccessible, inhospitable and in some case very dangerous. CRPD is good for the US economy and businesses that develop and manufacture assistive devices too. We urge Senator Flake to join Senator McCain in supporting the passage of CRPD before the end of the year. “ says Amina Donna Kruck, Vice President of Advocacy.
In spite of widespread support from veterans service organizations, faith, human and civil organizations, business, and the disability community, as well as politicians on both sides of the aisle, the treaty fell just five votes short of ratification in a controversial Senate vote last December. Now, as the Senate Foreign Relations Committee engages in renewed discussions of the treaty, the Senate has a rare second chance to do the right thing and ratify the Disability Treaty.
Arizona Bridge to Independent Living offers and promotes programs designed to empower people with disabilities to take personal responsibility so that they may achieve or continue independent lifestyles within the community. The independent living philosophy states that people with disabilities should have the same civil rights, options, and control over choices in their own lives as do people without disabilities. ABILITY360 is located at 5025 E. Washington St. Ste. 200, Phoenix, AZ 85034, www.abil.org, 602-256-2245.
9/13/13 ABILITY360 president & CEO Phil Pangrazio op-ed article in Arizona Republic