USICD Mourns the Loss of Senator John McCain and Will Honor Him with Its Award

August 27, 2018


Contact: Isabel Hodge, Executive Director

Telephone: (202) 495-7712


USICD Mourns the Loss of Senator John McCain and

Will Honor Him with Its Award

In May 2012, a bipartisan group of Senators announced their support for the U.S. Senate’s ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).  In his announcement, Senator John McCain (R-AZ) said, “As a cosponsor of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the ADA Amendments Act, I have long advocated on behalf of equal access and non-discrimination for all Americans, including our veterans and today’s disabled soldiers returning home from serving their nation in war.” Senator McCain further stated, “I support U.S. ratification of the disability treaty, as it seeks to advance these same fundamental values of equality and human dignity around the world.”

Former U.S. congressman from California and one of the primary authors and sponsor of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Mr. Tony Coelho, shared the following statement yesterday:

“When passing the Americans with Disabilities Act, Senator McCain brought his maverick spirit to help create bipartisan support for its passage in the Senate.  Nearly a decade and a half later he revived this commitment by courageously fighting for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, even against many in his own party.  Although this treaty did not find the measure it needed for ratification, he was never deterred, and his determination serves as a model for advocates to ratify it in the future.”

USICD Past President, Marca Bristo, was present on the Hill in 2012 with Senator McCain and other bipartisan supporters of the CRPD. At the news of Senator McCain’s passing Bristo stated, “He listened to the voices of thousands of people with disabilities from both parties who shared their life stories of injustice and became one of the most ardent supporters of the ADA and the CRPD. I hope his passing will remind Congress that bipartisanship is not abandonment of party. It’s putting America first in the real sense of that phrase.

In recognition of his lifetime of service to disability rights, Senator McCain will receive USICD’s Dole-Harkin award for distinction in public service to the global disability community. The award will be presented posthumously at USICD's Gala to celebrate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities in December 2018.

He will be remembered. Thank you, Senator McCain.