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Statement from PHI's Mary A. Pittman on the US Senate's Failure on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

December 04, 2012

Statement from Mary A Pittman, president and CEO of the public health institute

"The Public Health Institute is deeply disappointed by the United States Senate’s failure to agree to US ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

"The CRPD sought to 'promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity.'  The United States has long been a leader in ensuring the rights of people with disabilities. Ratification of the CRPD by the United States would have helped to strengthen rights for individuals in other countries by indicating strong U.S. support.

"PHI’s Erica C. Jones, Executive Director of the Center on Disability and the Pacific ADA Center, has long been an advocate for rights of persons with disabilities.  PHI’s Center on Disability is dedicated to improving the lives of people with disabilities with a focus on disability policy, civil rights, disability law, employment, health issues, independent living, and assistive technology. The Center works to build a partnership between the disability and business communities and to promote full and unrestricted participation in society for persons with disabilities through education and technical assistance.

"Through the work of the Pacific ADA Center and the Center on Disability, we’ve seen the nation’s commitment to the rights of persons with disabilities result in real changes in people’s everyday lives. Their work has promoted accessible technology in the workplace, provided new employment opportunities for persons with disabilities and helped business and organizations comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

"By closing the door on the CRPD, the US Senate has closed off support for similar rights, access and opportunities to people with disabilities around the globe.

"This treaty is in the best interests of the United States, and of people around the world. We hope that the Senate convening in January 2013 will rapidly provide advice and consent to U.S. ratification of the CRPD."