November 12, 2013
The U.S. Senate is considering ratification of an international treaty, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The CRPD is an international disability treaty that was inspired by U.S. leadership in recognizing the rights of people with disabilities. The CRPD is a vital framework for creating legislation and policies around the world that embrace the rights and dignity of all people with disabilities. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was the model for the CRPD. The values of independence and respect and the concept of reasonable accommodation are echoed throughout the treaty.
A treaty is signed by the President and then must be referred to the Senate for advice and consent. The Senate must vote by a two-thirds majority to ratify a treaty. After a treaty is ratified by the Senate, it again needs to be signed by the President. Treaties are not bound to a particular Congressional session. They can be voted on in a different session than when the President signed the treaty.
The United States signed the CRPD in 2009. In order to ratify this signing, the United States Senate must vote to approve it. On December 4, 2012 the Senate considered the ratification of the CRPD but fell 5 votes short of the super-majority vote required. The media coverage of the Senate’s failure to ratify the disability treaty has been overwhelming and the CRPD’s Senate leaders remain committed to bringing the disability treaty up in the 113th Congress.
According to the latest Census data, 18.7 percent of Americans have some type of disability.
Please contact your Senators and ask them to vote for ratification of the CRPD.