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A Global ADA


Paralyzed Veterans of America’s Sherman Gillums Jr., (seated in the center) speaks at a press conference in support of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Treaty.
Reprinted from PN/Paraplegia News September 2014

Calling it the “Global application of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA),” Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) is asking for the immediate ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) Treaty.

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PVA Associate Executive Director of Veterans Benefits Sherman Gillums Jr., joined former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, Senators John McCain, Tom Harkin and others at a July 23 press conference in support of the treaty.

“The ratification of this treaty represents the next logical step in the effort to ensure a disabled U.S. citizen can marry a loved one at a destination anywhere in Europe or study abroad anywhere in South America and not have to worry about whether a set of steps, inaccessible transportation or social attitudes will define the limits of full participation,” Gillums says. “These freedoms are not luxuries; they are fundamental for every mobility-impaired senior citizen, college student, child with special needs, blinded or paralyzed veteran who wants the same access to the world as everyone else. No longer should we let irrelevancies stand in the way of opening this long-overdue access.”

Modeled after the ADA, the treaty is an agreement by more than 150 countries to “ensure and promote the full realization of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all persons with disabilities without discrimination of any kind on the basis of disability.”

Senate ratification of the treaty failed late last year, but it’s being taken up again this year.

“This treaty is simply the global application of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which has well-served our society for over two decades,” Gillums says. “If America does not embrace this opportunity to show the world that people of all walks deserve a right to the barrier-free pursuit of happiness, then we would fall far short of our potential as a values-driven, global role model.”

For more information, visit un.org/disabilities/convention/conventionfull.

 

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A Global ADA

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