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Obama to sign the International Treaty On The Rights Of Persons With Disabilities

Posted Jul 24 2009 10:48pm

I am one of the many people who feels that America is a place where civil rights are the core of our identity. I also agree with the many people who believe that the key questions facing the autism community are also civil rights oriented.

I am thus of mixed emotions with this announcement: President Obama will announce that he will sign the International Treaty On The Rights Of Persons With Disabilities. This is the subject matter I love to blog. At the same time, I hate to see the U.S. not in a leadership role on such an important subject. We should have signed this treaty long ago.

A press release from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) states:

WASHINGTON - July 24 – At a celebration today of the 19th anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), President Obama will announce that he will sign the most comprehensive international treaty on the rights of persons with disabilities. If ratified by the Senate, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) will be the fourth major human rights treaty ever adopted by the U.S. and the first it has adopted in the 21st century. The American Civil Liberties Union welcomes President Obama’s reengagement of the United States in international human rights efforts.

I was forwarded the following email from Ari Ne’eman, of The Autistic Self Advocacy Network:


This afternoon, I will be joining President Obama and the leadership of the cross-disability community at a special ceremony at the White House where the President will be announcing the intention of the United States to become a signatory to the UN Convention on Disability Rights. The treaty will enshrine in international law a wide array of rights, some of which are present in the United States already, such as the right to reasonable accommodation, as well as others, such as the right to community living supports as opposed to having only segregated options available, that we still have to fight for in our own country. You can read the treaty yourself by going to This is an important day for our community and I believe the President should be applauded for taking this important step.

Ari Ne’eman
The Autistic Self Advocacy Network

That felt good to blog.

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