ACTION ALERT: Ask your Senator to Ratify CRPD NOW!
The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee will be holding a hearing on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) on Thursday, July 12, at 9:00 a.m. in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room G-50. This is an important treaty for our community and we need members of our community to write to their Senators urging them to ratify the CRPD.
Why is the CRPD important, when we already have civil rights laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), among others?
First, the ADA and other disability laws do not have deaf-specific language; the CRPD recognizes sign language and deaf culture as human rights, and includes language such as “deaf culture”, “linguistic identity”, and “deaf community.”
Secondly, should the CRPD be ratified, the CRPD will be a tool for developing new policy and strengthening policy guidance for deaf education and bilingual rights given the unique text in this treaty that focuses on deaf culture and linguistic identity of the deaf community.
Third, the U.S. is currently excluded from the International Committee formed to enforce the requirements of the CRPD throughout the world.
If the CRPD is ratified in the U.S., the U.S. will be able to join the global community in efforts to promote, protect, and ensure full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity.