U.S. Should Ratify Disabilities Treaty

“On Tuesday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will begin considering the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (Disabilities Treaty), which embodies, at the international level, the principles of non-discrimination, equality of opportunity, accessibility, and inclusion grounded in our own Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA),” Judith Heumann, special adviser for international disability rights at the State Department, writes in the agency’s “DipNote” blog. “More than 130 countries have ratified the Disabilities Treaty, but the United States has not,” she notes, adding, “Joining the treaty is the best tool we have to promote and export our disability rights gold standard, open markets for U.S. businesses, encourage meaningful systemic improvements in other countries, and open the world to Americans with disabilities wishing to work, travel, study, and serve abroad.” She concludes, “The time is now for action on the Disabilities Treaty” (11/4).

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