On International Day of Persons with Disabilities, USICD Calls for Ratification of Disability Treaty

December 3, 2013

Press Contact: Kevin Locke klocke@usicd.org 202.347.0102

Today, the global community celebrates the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. In the spirit of this year’s theme, “Break Barriers, Open Doors: for an inclusive society and development for all”, the U.S. International Council on Disabilities calls on the United States Senate to support the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.  This international disability treaty is designed to promote dignity, human rights, and inclusion for people with disabilities worldwide.

Inspired by U.S. leadership in recognizing the rights of people with disabilities, the treaty serves as a vital framework for creating legislation and policies around the world that embrace the rights and dignity of all people with disabilities. By joining over 130 countries and ratifying this treaty, the United States has an opportunity to have a seat at the table in developing these policies, and to share our “gold standard” in disability rights, the Americans with Disabilities Act, as a model upon with other countries creating legislation with regard to people with disabilities.

Marca Bristo, President of the U.S. International Council on Disabilities:  “The International Day of Persons with Disabilities serves as a reminder to all of us that, though there has been much progress, we still have a long way to go towards achieving inclusion for all. Today, the American disability community stands in solidarity with the global community and the millions of people both at home and abroad who need and want the Disability Treaty to be ratified. The strength, diversity, and commitment of the community working in support of this treaty is a testament to the treaty’s significance and the broad global reach it could have in breaking barriers and opening doors for people living with disabilities worldwide.” 

Jill Houghton, a USICD board member and the executive director of the US Business Leadership Network (USBLN), “The International Day of Persons with Disabilities is a day for celebration not only by people with disabilities, but for everyone who supports opportunity and equality.  That is why we support U.S. ratification of the Disability Treaty.  More than 50 US member corporations have signed on to the USBLN’s letter supporting ratification.  Great American companies like Coke, IBM, AT&T, Sprint and Adobe share the vision of a world where there is no discrimination against people with disabilities.  We can be sure it’s a day to celebrate.”

In spite of widespread support from veterans service organizations, faith, human and civil rights organizations, business, and the disability community, as well as politicians on both sides of the aisle, the treaty fell just five votes short of ratification in a controversial Senate vote last December. Now, as the Senate Foreign Relations Committee engages in renewed discussions of the treaty, the Senate has a rare second chance to do the right thing and ratify the Disability Treaty.




U.S. International Council on Disabilities (USICD) is a not-for-profit organization based in Washington, DC.  USICD is joined by more than 800 disability organizations and more than 50 US companies in support of ratification of CRPD. USICD has established a dedicated web site that provides comprehensive information on all aspects of CRPD ratification.  Visit www.disabilitytreaty.org.