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Letter to the Senate on UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

July 11, 2012

Dear Senator: 

On behalf of the more than three million members of the National Education Association (NEA), we urge you to support ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.  

People with disabilities are the world’s largest minority: 650 million people or 10 percent of the global population. Among them are 54 million Americans—19 percent of the civilian non-institutionalized population. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, people with disabilities include 5 percent of children between the ages of 5 and 17; 10 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 64; and 38 percent of adults age 65 and older.  

Adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2006, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities took effect in 2008. Ratified by 117 nations to date, it reaffirms “the universality, indivisibility, interdependence and interrelatedness of all human rights and fundamental freedoms and the need for persons with disabilities to be guaranteed their full enjoyment without discrimination.”  

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities, which is already U.S. law. We urge you to support ratification of this treaty and reaffirmation of the principle of equality of opportunity fundamental to the rule of law, the bedrock upon which this great nation of ours was founded. 

Sincerely, 

Kim Anderson
Director, Center for Advocacy 

Mary Kusler
Director, Government Relations