[Athen] FW: Immediate Action To Support International Disability Rights

Lissner, Scott Lissner.2 at osu.edu
Mon Jul 23 11:47:36 PDT 2012

Sent: Monday, July 23, 2012 2:02 PM
Subject: Immediate Action To Support International Disability Rights

AHEAD Logo Gradient (blue on white)

July 23, 2012

AHEAD Members:

Earlier this month, many of us were together at AHEAD
kcGJWDLdekEBQveffNwS4lnfY-BO0Y1EbzzQoNxrgYxa_ZAD8Uhg_qQYdufZd_-Sj7k=> 's
35th Annual conference. Over the years AHEAD members have educated about
and advocated for disability rights. Beginning with implementing
regulations for Section 504 in 1977, the ADA in 1990, the ADA Amendments
Act in 2008 and most recently ratification of the UN Convention on the
Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

Ratification is supported by AHEAD along with many of our sister
organizations. With broad support from the disability community the
CRPD ratification was moving toward a floor vote in time to commemorate
the ADA's 22nd anniversary until groups that have generally opposed
disability rights lead by the Home School Legal Defense Association,
began calling the Senate in opposition.

Opponents contend that signing the CRPD would abdicate U.S.
sovereignty, and usurp parents' rights to make decisions for their
children with disabilities. None of these statements are accurate.
Whether innocent misunderstanding of international law or intentional
manipulation, they are motivating a misinformed minority to call the
Senate in opposition to the CRPD.

I am writing personally and on behalf of the AHEAD Board to encourage
you to review the facts, read the CRPD
odza4IcN7NNVpJ9yQ-MAU8TJaGUg3hYet0cOOnamQECCS6st> , and come to your own
conclusions. When you do I am confident that you will support U.S.

Former Senator Bob Dole and former Representative Tony Coelho strongly
support US ratification. See their full statement at:


"As two individuals with disabilities who served in Congress, the
passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990 was not
only a proud moment in our careers, it was also remarkable bipartisan
legislation that has benefited millions of Americans. Twenty two years
later, this important legislation continues to support the independence
and dignity of Americans with disabilities."

"During this Congress, the United States has a rare opportunity to share
our disability rights commitment with other countries. On July 30, 2009,
the U.S. signed the Convention on the Rights of Persons with
Disabilities (CRPD). On May 17, 2012, the administration transmitted the
CRPD treaty package for ratification, and a bipartisan group of Senate
leaders immediately expressed their support for its ratification. By the
treaty, the U.S. Senate will stand up for the equality and dignity of
people with disabilities around the globe, just as Congress did for
Americans in 1990..."

The reality is that

* Ratifying the CRPD will not undercut US sovereignty;
* The CRPD does not require anything from the U.S. beyond the
ADA's requirements; and
* The CRPD has the potential to facilitate international travel,
business opportunities and markets for individuals with disabilities as
well as expanding options for study abroad international exchanges of
students and scholars that are so critical for tomorrow's education and

If you agree that US ratification of the CRPD is the right thing to do
and have not already done so, call or email both of your Senators as an
individual constituent and make your opinion known. Ask them to
support a floor vote and ratification of the CRPD to send a message to
their constituents and the world that they recognize disability is an
integral part of human experience and individuals everywhere should be
treated with fairness and dignity.

After contacting your Senators, please share this message with other
organizations, friends on Facebook ... and encourage them to take
informed action as well.

Contact Information for U.S. Senators at:



L. Scott Lissner

President, Association on Higher Education And Disability (AHEAD
nwUgzYp4hur0BRFjZVZovAAcBxPPcoJSSD35vD68I50IgZ-YuuTp_a5yJ-oaxbLBoYk=> )


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