Community Letter to Senators Kerry and Lugar on CRPD Ratification

July 29, 2010

Honorable Senators John F. Kerry and Richard G. Lugar
Committee Chair and Ranking Member, Respectively
United States Senate
Foreign Relations Committee
446 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C.  20510

Secretary Hillary Clinton, U.S. Department of State
General James L. Jones, National Security Advisor
Kareem Dale, Special Assistant to the President of the United States

Dear Senators Kerry and Lugar,

On July 26, 2010, the United States celebrated twenty years since the passage of one of the most important civil rights laws in our history – the Americans with Disabilities Act. This landmark legislation was the first major piece of domestic legislation in the world to address the discrimination, legal challenges, and physical and systemic barriers faced by individuals with disabilities. It is the true civil rights bill for individuals with disabilities in the United States. Since the ADA was initially passed in 1990 and strengthened with a bipartisan package of amendments in 2008, the physical, programmatic, and legal barriers of individuals with disabilities across the country have begun to erode. Congress took the critical step in protecting the rights of citizens with disabilities by enacting the ADA, but the work to ensure these protections in the United States and abroad must continue.

On July 30, 2009, the Obama Administration took another step to ensure the protection of the rights of individuals with disabilities by signing the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). We anticipate that the Obama Administration will soon submit the CRPD to the Senate for its advice and consent. The undersigned members and allies of the United States International Council on Disabilities (USICD) strongly support the speedy ratification of this treaty once transmitted to the Senate by the Obama Administration. We urge you, as leaders of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, to continue championing disability rights and move this effort swiftly forward in the spirit of celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the ADA.

The CRPD seeks the same goals the United States had in enacting the Americans with Disabilities Act twenty years ago: to empower individuals with disabilities to achieve economic self-sufficiency, independent living, and inclusion and integration into all aspects of society. Our nation’s leadership toward this vision for our citizens in enacting the ADA served as a beacon to people around the world and a strategy other nations have emulated. By signing the CRPD last year, the Obama Administration reaffirmed the leadership position of the United States in establishing and protecting the human rights of individuals with disabilities. By providing positive advice and consent for ratification, the Senate will underscore and ensure our global leadership in disability rights.

Eighty-eight nations have ratified the CRPD, including important allies of the United States.  The Convention is furthermore consistent with not only the ADA, but also with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the Rehabilitation Act, and numerous other laws. The CRPD establishes international standards regarding the rights and freedoms of people with disabilities, and creates a common basis for greater civic and political participation and self-sufficiency. The Convention reflects core American values such as the dignity of the individual, access to justice, importance of family decision-making, and access to appropriate health care. These standards carry moral authority and credibility to efforts in all parts of the world to achieve justice, equality and inclusion for individuals with disabilities. The United States has an important role to play in contributing to the realization of global human rights, and we are uniquely fortunate and well positioned in our leadership on disability rights to ratify this Convention.

We, the undersigned, are committed to our country’s leadership for the rights and empowerment of the 650 million people with disabilities worldwide, and therefore urge the Senate to quickly consider and approve for ratification the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.


The United States International Council on Disabilities

President, Marca Bristo



  1. A and M II Home Care
  2. Abilis, Inc
  3. Ability Resources
  4. Access, Advocacy & the Disability Rights Institute
  6. Advocacy Initiative Network
  7. Afterglow Media
  8. Alliance of Disability Advocates
  9. American Association of People with Disabilities
  10. American Counseling Association
  11. American Foundation f/t Blind
  12. American Public Transportation Association
  13. Association of University Centers on Disabilities
  14. Autism Society of America
  15. Autistic Self Advocacy Network
  16. Barrier Free Living
  17. Blue Ridge Independent Living Center
  18. Board Resource Center
  19. Boston Center for Independent Living
  20. Bronx Independent Living Services
  21. Brooklyn Center For Independence of the Disabled
  22. Cape Organization for Rights of the Disabled (CORD)
  23. CBM
  24. Center for Accessible Living
  25. Center for Independence
  26. Center for Independent Living Inc.
  27. Center for Independent Living of Broward
  28. Center for International Rehabilitation
  29. Center for International Rehabilitation Research Information and Exchange
  30. Center for Self-Determination
  31. Center for Technology and Disability Studies
  32. Citizens for Global Solutions
  33. Communities Actively Living Independent & Free (CALIF)
  34. Community Access & Inclusion Project
  35. Community Resource Alliance
  36. Disabilities Resources and Solutions
  37. Disability Law Center
  38. Disability Law Center, Boston, Massachusetts
  39. Disability Options Network
  40. Disability Poicy Consortium  & Independent Living Resources
  41. disAbility Resource Center
  42. Disability Rights Fund
  43. Disability Rights Initiative
  44. Disabled in Action
  45. Disabled In Action of Metro NY
  46. Disabled Peoples' International
  47. Disabled Rights Action Committee
  48. Down Syndrome Advocacy
  49. Easter Seals
  50. Easter Seals Massachusetts
  51. Eastern Oregon Center for Independent Living (EOCIL)
  52. EquallyAble Foundation
  53. Four Freedoms Forum
  54. Genesee Region Independant Living Ctr
  55. Global Partnership for Disability and Development
  56. GlobalPartnersUnited
  57. Hill and Knowlton
  58. Human Rights Project, Urban Justice Center
  59. Independent Living Center of the Hudson Valley, Inc.
  60. Independent Living Resource Center San Francisco
  61. Independent Living Resource Center, Inc.
  62. Institute for Human Centered Design
  63. Institute on Human Development & Disability/UCEDD
  64. Inter-American Institute on Disability & Inclusive Development
  65. International Center for Disability Resources on the Internet
  66. International Dyslexia Association-New York
  67. International Ventilator Users Network
  68. KASA
  69. Koinonia Homes, Inc.
  70. Maryland Disability Law Center
  71. Massachusetts Families Organizing for Change
  72. Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission
  73. Mental Disability Rights International
  74. MindFreedom
  75. Mobility International USA
  76. Montana Independent Living Project
  77. National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities
  78. National Association of the Deaf
  79. National Black Deaf Advocates, Inc
  80. National Center for Environmental Health Strategies, Inc.
  81. National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery
  82. National Kids As Self Advocates, Project of Family Voices
  83. National Organization on Disability
  84. National Spinal Cord Injury Association
  85. New Horizons Independent Living Center
  86. NorCal Services for Deaf & Hard of Hearing
  87. Open Society Policy Center
  88. Options Interstate Resource Center for Independent Living
  89. People-First of San Luis Obispo
  90. PhilanthropyNow
  91. Placer Independent Resource Services
  92. Post-Polio Health International
  93. Reachout USA
  94. Rehabilitation International
  95. Resources for Independence Central Valley
  96. Rolling Start Inc.
  97. San Gabril/Pomona Regional Center
  98. SE Alaska Independent Living Inc.
  99. Self-Advocates of Indiana
  100. SICIL
  101. Society for Equal Access, ILC.
  102. Southern Indiana Center for Independent Living
  103. Special Olympics International
  104. St. John's Community Services
  105. Stavros Center for Independent Living
  106. TASH
  107. TecAccess
  108. The Arc of Greater Cleveland
  109. The Arc of Massachusetts
  110. The Arc of the U.S.
  111. The Elizabeth Richardson Center
  112. The Freedom Center
  113. Topeka Independent Living Resource Center
  114. Transit Authority of River City
  115. U.S. International Council on Disabilities
  116. United Cerebral Palsy
  117. United Nations Association
  118. United Spinal Association
  119. Urban Morgan Institute for Human Rights
  120. US-Mexico Border Health Association
  121. Vermont Center for Independent Living
  122. VetsFirst
  123. Virginia Association of Centers for Independent Living
  124. WebAIM
  125. Westport Commission on Disability


  1. Shirin Akhter, Bangladesh
  2. William Allan, Massachusetts
  3. Patricia F Anderson, Michigan
  4. Yerker Johan Olof Andersson, Maryland
  5. Mary Angus, Nebraska
  6. Shourove Ansari, Bangladesh
  7. Carl R. Augusto, New York
  8. Z. Aziza Baccouche, Washington DC
  9. Linda Baker, Missouri
  10. Prof. Brook K. Baker, Massachusetts
  11. Ellis Ballard, Maryland
  12. Tapan Banerjere, Virginia
  13. Margaret A. Barcelo, California
  14. J. Barry Barker, Kentucky
  15. Tom Baroch, Colorado
  16. Scott Barstow, Virginia
  17. Fran Bates, California
  18. Joe Bellil, Massachusetts
  19. Judith Benkendorf, Maryland
  20. Philip Bennett, New York
  21. Sandra Bens, Ohio
  22. Helena R. Berger, Virginia
  23. Jean  Lindquist Bergey, Maryland
  24. Thea Bernas, California
  25. Rosangela Berman Bieler, Washington, DC
  26. Josephine Black, California
  27. Nancy J. Bloch, Maryland
  28. Pamela Block, New York
  29. Nicar Bocalan, California
  30. Katherine Breen, District of Columbia
  31. Coreen S. Brinckerhoff, Massachusetts
  32. Michael J. Brogioli, Washington, DC
  33. Rebecca Brown, New York
  34. Steven E. Brown, Hawaii
  35. Tonia Brown, Louisana
  36. Mary Beth Bruder, Connecticut
  37. Ann Marie Bryan, New York
  38. Deanna L. Bura, Ohio
  39. Michael R. Burks, North Carolina
  40. Rachel Burton, District of Columbia
  41. Mandy Buzzelli, Minnesota
  42. Ann Cameron Caldwell, Maryland
  43. Geoffrey Mikol Caldwell, Maryland
  44. Joe Caldwell, Maryland
  45. Michael  Callangan, Florida
  46. Charlie Carr, Massachusetts
  47. Martina Carroll, Massachusetts
  48. Marlene Chait, Pennsylvania
  49. Gail Chermak, Idaho
  50. Evelyn Cherow, Maryland
  51. Margaret Coaxum, New York
  52. Beverly Cody, New York
  53. Suzanna Collerd, Illinois
  54. Michael C. Collins, Washington
  55. Thomas M Cook, Iowa
  56. Joshua Cooper, Hawaii
  57. Stephen Bruce Corbin, Maryland
  58. Bruce Cowan, California
  59. Rene Cummins, North Carolina
  60. Marcelle  Darbouze, New York
  61. Yoshiko Dart, Texas
  62. Anne M. Davis, New York
  63. Jan Day, Indiana
  64. Gale Dean, Louisiana
  65. R. Kent Dean, Louisiana
  66. Susan M. DeVault, Texas
  67. Don Dew, Kansas
  68. Karen Dickerhoof, Florida
  69. Cassandra Dickerson, Louisiana
  70. Ejim Dike, New York
  71. Ruthanne Donalson, Ohio
  72. Dianne S. Doochin, Tennessee
  73. Bryan Dooley, North Carolina
  74. Lindsay Dunn, Maryland
  75. Josefina E. Duran, Arizona
  76. Sam  Durbin, California
  77. Rashmi Dyal-Chand, Massachusetts
  78. Brett L. Eisenberg, New York
  79. Laura T. Eisenman, Delaware
  80. Rose  Ellis, New York
  81. David Ellison, Canada
  82. Robert A. Enholm, Virginia
  83. Steven B Estey, Canada
  84. Tammy Evrard, Hawaii
  85. Sheri Farinha, California
  86. James G. Felakos, New York
  87. Eileen Feldman, Massachusetts
  88. James Ferris, Michigan
  89. Paul Feuerstein, New York
  90. Denise A. Figueroa, New York
  91. Daniel B Fisher, Massachusetts
  92. Joseph J. Flanagan, Jr, California
  93. Valerie Fletcher, Massachusetts
  94. Nieves P. Flores, Guam
  95. Michael Fox, Australia
  96. Krisi Franzone, California
  97. Bradford L. Friedman, California
  98. Cindy B. Gable, Indiana
  99. Deborah J. Galonsky, Delaware
  100. Jeffrey L. Galonsky, Delaware
  101. Paul Galonsky, Delaware
  102. Barbara Gerner de Garcia, Maryland
  103. Rian  Gayle, Jamaica
  104. Jamey George, Maryland
  105. Hon.Margaret J. Giannini, New York
  106. Stephen Gilson, Maine
  107. Arthur M. Ginsberg, District of Columbia
  108. Tyrone Giordano, California
  109. Daniel Givelber, Massachusetts
  110. Raymond E. Glazier, Massachusetts
  111. Anshu Goel, India
  112. Lori Beck Golden, Maryland
  113. Richard Griffis, District of Columbia
  114. Lee Grossman, Virginia
  115. Yegin Habtes, Virgin Islands
  116. Jen Halbert, New York
  117. Morton H.  Halperin,
  118. Ghazala  Hameed,
  119. Marilyn Hamilton, California
  120. Robert J. Hand, California
  121. Liz Hardy-Jackson, Massachusetts
  122. Kara Harkins, New Hampshire
  123. Kara Harkins, Washington, DC
  124. Liz Hary
  125. Rooshey Hasnain, Illinois
  126. Reiko Hayashi, Utah
  127. Joan L. Headley, Missouri
  128. Karen Heinicke-Motsch, Oregon
  129. Tamar Heller, Illinois
  130. Bill Henning, Massachusetts
  131. Larry Hiigel, Oregon
  132. Olga Hill, New York
  133. Todd Holloway, Washington
  134. Tiffany Huggard-Lee, Kansas
  135. Karla Berglund Hughes, California
  136. Roxanne Hughes-Wheatland, Maryland
  137. Mutia Hull, California
  138. Khadim Hussain, Pakistan
  139. Venus Ilagan, New York
  140. Andy Imparato
  141. Michael F Jackel, New York
  142. George Jesien, Maryland
  143. Janet Marie Johnson, Ohio
  144. Eugina  Jones, California
  145. Anu Joshi, California
  146. Raymond Jurkowski, Ohio
  147. Ellen Kaufman-Nuzzi, New York
  148. John D. Kemp, District of Columbia
  149. Kevin Kennedy, New York
  150. Gina Kerman, Ohio
  151. Jerry Kessinger, Washington
  152. William E. Kiernan, Massachusetts
  153. Barbara S Kilcup, Rhode Island
  154. Robert Kimberly, Massachussetts
  155. Virginia Knowlton, Maryland
  156. Lisa Krueger, California
  157. James Kruidenier, Massachusetts
  158. Dr. Madan M. Kundu, Louisiana
  159. Andrew Kurzweil, New York
  160. Patricia  Laird, Maryland
  161. Mary Lamielle, New Jersey
  162. Maurice H. Lamothe, Louisiana
  163. Lunetha  Lancaster, New York
  164. Sara Laney, Maryland
  165. Mitch LaPlante, California
  166. Sarah Launderville, Vermont
  167. Shawn Lawrence, Virginia
  168. Carlotta Lawson, Oklahoma
  169. Janette Ledea, California
  170. Anthony Todd Lefkowicz, Washington
  171. Barbara LeRoy, Michigan
  172. Herb Levine, California
  173. Hope Lewis, Massachusetts
  174. Phoebe S. Liebig, California
  175. Christopher E. Lloyd, Pennsylvania
  176. Bert Lockwood, Ohio
  177. Alan Loosley, Louisiana
  178. Carol G. Lopes, California
  179. Matthew Lozier, Iowa
  180. Danielle Lucchesi, California
  181. Charles B. Maclean, Oregon
  182. Bob Maffit, Montana
  183. Wesley Paul Mallett, Maine
  184. Susan Mann, St. John, US Virgin Islands
  185. Russ Mantel, Wisconsin
  186. Brian Joe Marsh, California
  187. Emily Martinez, Maryland
  188. Rilda J. Massey, Texas
  189. Linda Mastandrea, Illinois
  190. Eric Mathews, District of Columbia
  191. Lisa M Mathis, Arkansas
  192. Becky Matter, Washington
  193. Jane Maxwell, California
  194. Michael A. Mayer, North Carolina
  195. Samuel Mbaja, New York
  196. Rodriquez McArtis, Ohio
  197. Anthony McCabe, New York
  198. Kathy McCaffrey, New York
  199. Althea McLuckie, New Mexico
  200. Daniel McNamee, Florida
  201. Donald C. McNamee, Ohio
  202. Donna P. McNamee, Ohio
  203. Patricia  McNamee, Ohio
  204. Karen Michalski-Karney, Virginia
  205. David R. Miklas, California
  206. William Millar, Washington, DC
  207. Paul Steven Miller, Washington
  208. Susan L. (Tink) Miller, California
  209. Christina Mills, California
  210. Ilene Miner, California
  211. Norman Y. Mineta, California
  212. Jan A. Monsbakken, Norway
  213. Mary Margaret Moore, Massachusetts
  214. Patti C. ("Cappie") Morgan, Maryland
  215. David Morrissey, Maryland
  216. Patricia A. Morrissey, Virginia
  217. Courtney Mulligan, Massachusetts
  218. Augustina Naami, Utah
  219. Emily Nabors, California
  220. Lillibeth Navarro, California
  221. Ari Ne'eman
  222. Brita Nelson, Iowa
  223. Tom Nerney, Michigan
  224. Todd Nielson, Washington
  225. Amy Ninlawong, Ohio
  226. Emily Murgo Nisenbaum, Massachusetts
  227. Cynthia  Norwood, Ohio
  228. Joan O'Keefe, Alaska
  229. Florence Valentine   Omens, California
  230. Rik Opstelten, Virginia
  231. Marcia Orland, California
  232. Naomi Ortiz, Arizona
  233. Elaine Ostroff, Massachusetts
  234. Cathi Owings, Indiana
  235. Michael L. Oxford, Kansas
  236. Chris Palames, Massachusetts
  237. Frederick B. Palmer, Tennessee
  238. Sarah Parker, Illinois
  239. Susan Parker, New Hampshire
  240. Andrea Parra, Washington, D.C.
  241. Joseph A. Partansky, California
  242. Joe Passantino, California
  243. Betty Jo Pearce, South Carolina
  244. Mary Jean Pencarski, Maryland
  245. Sarah Peterson, Virginia
  246. Bethany Pistorius, Ohio
  247. Terry D. Plett, California
  248. Dorothy Popotnik, Ohio
  249. Peggy Linn Prosser, Indiana
  250. Lauro L. Purcil Jr., Philippines
  251. Jon Pynoos, California
  252. Sandra Ramey, California
  253. Sher Baahadur Rana, Nepal
  254. Jean Reid, Ohio
  255. Maria Reina, Virginia
  256. Janet Reynolds, Kansas
  257. Julie S. Reynolds, Oregon
  258. Thomas Rickert, California
  259. Carol J. Risley, California
  260. Ariel Dela Rosa, California
  261. Jeff Rosen, Maryland
  262. Eric Rosenthal
  263. Laurel Ross, Connecticut
  264. Helen C. Roth, Utah
  265. Cyndi Rowland, Utah
  266. Kimberly J Rowlett, Tennessee
  267. Debra Ruh, Virginia
  268. Mark M. Rust, Maryland
  269. Randall Rutta, District of Columbia
  270. Job S.Malubi
  271. Patricia Saji, Massachusetts
  272. Amy Samalin, Connecticut
  273. Diana Beth Samarasan, Massachusetts
  274. Leo V. Sarkissian, Massachusetts
  275. April Fawn Scheller, Connecticut
  276. E.S. Schloss, New York
  277. Katherine D. Seelman, Pennsylvania
  278. Sherzodbek  Sharipov, Washington DC
  279. Eric Shettle, Maryland
  280. Andrea Shettle, Washington DC
  281. Jo Anne Simon, New York
  282. Sue Simon, New York
  283. Patricia A Simpkins, Cakifornia
  284. Dr. William Kennedy Smith, Washington DC
  285. Padraic D. Smith, Ohio
  286. Randy Sorensen, Minnesota/North Dakota
  287. Michael Wayne Sprouse, Virginia
  288. Jane Squires, Oregon
  289. Mark Starford, California
  290. Nancy Starnes, Virginia
  291. Lee Stein, District of Columbia
  292. Leslie Stockton, Indiana
  293. John Stone, New York
  294. Vathsala I. Stone, New York
  295. Zolinda Stoneman, Georgia
  296. Sue Swenson, Maryland
  297. Lou Tally, New York
  298. Mark A. Tannenbaum, Washington, DC
  299. Kerry Thompson, Massachusetts
  300. Susan Thompson, Washington
  301. Dick Thornburgh, Pennsylvania
  302. Jessica Thorne, Ohio
  303. Magon L Tipton, Louisiana
  304. Barbara R. Trader, Virginia
  305. Linda G. Tullos, Louisiana
  306. James F. Tyer, Florida
  307. Laura Vann-LaRusso, New York
  308. Lisa Voltolina, Oregon
  309. Cynthia D. Waddell, California
  310. Cynthia Walsh, California
  311. Matthew John Wangeman, Arizona
  312. JoAnn Kamuf Ward, New York
  313. Robert M. Ward, Oklahoma
  314. Linda P. Ware, New York
  315. Marvin Wasserman, New York
  316. Patrick Wekesa
  317. Barbara J. White, Maryland
  318. Cindy Rhea White, California
  319. Adrienne Elizabeth Wiley, Maryland
  320. Betty Williams, Indiana
  321. Amy Wilson, Washington, DC
  322. Pamela Wilson, Washington
  323. Kathleen Wisniewski, New York
  324. Yomi Sachiko Wrong, California
  325. Julie Ann Yindra, New York
  326. Mohammed Yousuf, VA
  327. June Zeitlin, New York
  328. Maria Zuccarello, California