WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Paralyzed Veterans of America is extremely disappointed that the United States Senate today failed to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD) treaty—a treaty inspired by the landmark civil rights legislation, the Americans with Disabilities Act.
“Today marks a very sad day for all Americans with disabilities and an enormous missed opportunity for American leadership,” said Bill Lawson, National President of Paralyzed Veterans. “Paralyzed Veterans has long championed the rights and freedoms of people with disabilities, particularly those men and women who honorably served this nation. Ratification of this treaty would have helped to expand accessibility across the world for millions of people with disabilities, a portion of whom wore the uniform of this nation to preserve and advance freedom. That freedom includes the right to travel to other parts of the world and to access the global economy.”
The CRPD, signed by more than 150 countries, addresses the equal rights of persons with disabilities. Countries who have ratified the treaty agree to “undertake to ensure and promote the full realization of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all persons with disabilities without discrimination of any kind on the basis of disability.” Despite bi-partisan support in the Senate, ratification of the treaty failed on a 61-38 vote, with 67 votes needed for ratification.
“At a time when people with disabilities continue to face hardships at home, in the community, and in the workplace, we cannot understand the reluctance of some members of the Senate to ratify this important treaty,” stated Lawson. “We urge the Senators who voted against this treaty to reconsider their vote, and encourage Senate leadership to keep bringing the treaty up for vote until it is ratified.”
Paralyzed Veterans was founded by a group of seriously injured American heroes from the “Greatest Generation” of World War II. They created a nonprofit organization to meet the challenges that they faced back in the 1940s — from a medical community not ready to treat them to an inaccessible world. For more than 66 years, Paralyzed Veterans’ national office and its 34 chapters across the nation have been making America a better place for all veterans and people with disabilities.