Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Support Disability Rights Worldwide!

The Memphis Center for Independent Living hopes you support the civil rights of people with disabilities not just in Memphis, but worldwide. The Convention on the Rights of People (CRPD) with Disabilities is a treaty signed by the US in 2009, but it has yet to be ratified by the US Senate.

the Memphis Center for Independent Living  staff holding the signed letter to Sen. Alexander
The treaty is modeled on the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act and will promote American values and commitment to inclusion of all people worldwide. The CRPD is a symbol of US strength and leadership in the world and advances our shared ideal and national power.

American businesses support ratification of the CRPD, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the U.S. Business Leadership Network, and the Information Technology Industry Council. Many U.S. companies including IBM, AT&T, Adobe, and JP Morgan Chase support ratification.
There are eight guiding principles that underlie the Convention:
  1. Respect for inherent dignity, individual autonomy including the freedom to make one's own choices, and independence of persons
  2. Non-discrimination
  3. Full and effective participation and inclusion in society
  4. Respect for difference and acceptance of persons with disabilities as part of human diversity and humanity
  5. Equality of opportunity
  6. Accessibility
  7. Equality between men and women
  8. Respect for the evolving capacities of children with disabilities and respect for the right of children with disabilities to preserve their identities.
The Center has prepared a letter to Sen. Alexander asking him for his support for the CRPD. You may come to MCIL (1633 Madison in midtown Memphis) and put your name on this letter. MCIL will deliver the letter to Sen. Alexander on September 8.
Show your support for disability rights worldwide
The text of the letter

September 8, 2014

Dear Senator Alexander: We are writing to support ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The CRPD is a non discrimination treaty seeking to achieve the same goals as the Americans with Disabilities Act and other existing disability laws in United States: to empower individuals with disabilities to achieve economic self­ sufficiency, independent living, inclusion and integration into all aspects of society. The CRPD is important to all people with disabilities, including our veterans and servicemembers with disabilities, as it embodies equal treatment and non discrimination in access to rehabilitation, employment and educational opportunities. By ratifying the CRPD, the United States will continue to be a leader in setting the standards for ensuring the human rights of individuals with disabilities. The Convention reflects core American values such as the dignity of the individual, access to justice, the importance of family decision making and access to appropriate health care. We are committed to US leadership on behalf of the one billion people with disabilities worldwide. We believe swift US ratification of the CRPD in a bipartisan fashion is in this country’s best interest and ask you for your support and leadership on this issue.