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Disability Activists Urge U.S. Senate to Ratify Disability Treaty

On July 29, advocates representing civil, human, and disability rights groups from across the country gathered in Washington, DC, to call for immediate ratification of the Disability Treaty.

Hundreds of people attended a rally in front of the U.S. Capitol to voice their support for this crucial framework for creating laws and policies around the world modeled after the Americans with Disabilities Act. Speakers at the rally included Senators Tom Harkin and Dick Durbin, as well as other members of Congress, disability rights advocates, and representatives from veterans’ groups supporting the treaty.

Following the rally, the group marched to the Hart Senate Office Building to meet with their senators and demand immediate action on the Disability Treaty. The group gathered in the lobby of the building, chanting and holding signs to draw attention to this important issue.

Marca Bristo, president of the U.S. International Council on Disabilities, was part of the rally in the Hart lobby. “We’re here today to make sure our senators hear our voices loud and clear and recognize that the time for excuses on this issue has long passed. They’ve added all the amendments they need to put to rest any remaining concerns about the impact of the treaty on homeschooling. It’s shameful that we’ve failed to take a seat at the table and export American leadership on disability rights. The Disability Treaty without America is like Hamlet without the prince. Now is the time for action on supporting the rights and dignity of people with disabilities worldwide by ratifying the Disability Treaty. We will not wait any longer.”

This article was adapted from information provided by the U.S. International Council on Disabilities.