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Letter to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee

July 21, 2014

Dear Senator:

On behalf of the three million members of the National Education Association and the students they serve, we urge you to vote YES on ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities when it is marked up tomorrow. Votes associated with this issue may be included in the NEA Legislative Report Card for the 113th Congress.   

People with disabilities are the world’s largest minority: 650 million people or 10 percent of the global population. Among them are 57 million Americans—19 percent of the population or nearly one in five (Source: U.S. Census Bureau).

Adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2006, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities took effect in 2008. Ratified by 147 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,  

Mary Kusler
Director, Government Relations