The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) is an international treaty that recognizes and promotes the rights of people with disabilities from around the world. When countries sign on to the treaty, they agree to follow the principals and obligations described in the document. The CRPD is based on general human rights and was largely inspired by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Despite this influential history of disability rights in the United States, The US Senate failed to ratify the treaty in December 2012. The CRPD was just six votes shy of the 2/3 majority needed to ratify the treaty. Disability advocates vowed to bring the treaty back to the Senate and renew their fight for its passage.
Since the December Senate vote, over 500 disability organizations have signed on in support of the CRPD. Grassroots efforts, led largely by The US International Council on Disabilities and Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF), have spread out across the country. On May 14, 2013, more than a dozen disability advocates and stakeholders met with staff from Ohio Senator Rob Portmanâ€™s office. UC UCEDDâ€™s Advocacy Coordinator, Kara Ayers, and former LEND trainee, Sara Bitter, were among the attendees. â€œThe meeting was very productive. We appreciated the opportunity to provide some much needed education on the CRPD-clearing up misconceptions and relaying how very important this treaty would be to the lives of children and adults with disabilities everywhere,â€ said Ayers. Portman was one of 38 Senators who voted no when the treaty reached the Senate floor in December. The CRPD is expected to return to the floor in the spring or early summer of 2013.