Michelle Kwan Calls for Ratification of the Disability Treaty

September 18, 2013
Source: US International Council on Disabilities

For Immediate Release:          Contact: Esme Grant, U.S. International Council on Disabilities

September 18, 2013                                      egrant@usicd.org, (202) 347-0102


ICYMI: Michelle Kwan Calls for Ratification of the Disability Treaty


This week, Olympic figure skater Michelle Kwan released a video statement voicing her support for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, a treaty which would embrace the rights and dignity of people with disabilities around the world by facilitating the creation of legislation and policies modeled after the Americans with Disabilities Act.

In her roles as a Special Olympics Board Member and Senior Advisor for the State Department, Kwan has been a longtime advocate for the rights of people living with disabilities around the world. In the video, she discussed her support for the Disability Treaty, particularly because it would help expand accessibility abroad and give American athletes with disabilities the same opportunities to travel, train, and compete as Kwan and other athletes have had.

From Michelle Kwan’s remarks:

Hi everyone, I’m Michelle Kwan. You may know me best as a figure skater, but today I’d like to talk to you about ratifying the Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (the Disabilities Treaty), a cause that has become near and dear to me in my role as a Senior Advisor at the State Department.

As a long-time, competitive athlete, I have always pushed myself to go further. I have always sought to go beyond my limits to achieve what, at first, seemed to be impossible. And I have always wanted the same for athletes with disabilities, who have the same drive instilled within them.

Overseas travel can be any essential part of training and competition for any serious athlete. But I’ve learned that U.S. athletes with disabilities often face barriers when they go abroad, including inaccessible transportation, training facilities and living quarters.

If the United States ratifies the Disabilities Treaty, we can help change that. Doing so will help us persuade other nations to raise their standards in the area of accessibility to the same high levels we have here in the United States. It will help pave the way for the U.S. athletes with disabilities to make their way to the top of the podiums around the world.

It’s that simple. I can’t think of anything that makes more sense than providing my fellow athletes with disabilities the same opportunities that I’ve had in my career to reach higher, dream bigger, and live without limits. 

If you’d like to learn more about the disabilities treaty, please visit our website: http://www.state.gov/disabilitiestreaty.