My Letter Endorsing the International Disability Rights Treaty
I just posted an action alert about an important international disability rights treaty, called the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). This action alert asked people in the United States to write to YOUR legislators to ask them to support the CRPD. You can do this by following the link to:
(Not a US citizen? Go to RatifyNow.org to find other ways to get involved, or contact the local Deaf or disabled people’s organization in your country to see if they can advise.)
The above web page will give you more background information on the CRPD (if you want a deeper understanding, check out the RatifyNow.org web site). It will also help you quickly identify who your legislators are (just fill in your zip code and address). It even gives you a form letter you can use. However, your email will have MUCH stronger impact if you can personalize your letter in some way.
Here is the text that I sent to my legislators:
Dear [recipient name was inserted here],
I’m writing to you as your constituent to request that you actively support and endorse the International (UN) Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. This is highly important to me both as a deaf person and also as a person with many friends and relatives with various disabilities.
The CRPD is a groundbreaking achievement of civilized society. This Convention opens the door to opportunity and inclusion for people with disabilities throughout the world. It is one of the first major treaties that acknowledges that disabled people need more than charity or yet more “social security”–what we need and deserve are for our basic human rights
to be recognized.
To date, nearly 123 member nations have signed the Treaty, and 15 countries have already ratified it as well. However, as you may already be aware, the US is not on either of these lists.
The current Administration did not represent the US at the signing ceremony last spring and has yet to show any support for this historic treaty. Furthermore, the administration has given no indication that it intends to ever support this landmark Convention. The United States disability community finds the Administration’s position on this issue to be nothing short of both demoralizing and distressing. I know I, personally, find it to be so.
Being honest and realistic about our chances with the Bush Administration, advocates are looking to the next Administration as the focus of their efforts. With a majority of the leading candidates having said that they would support the US signing the Convention, the disability community is seeking to build support in Congress now. We wish to prepare for what we hope will be a speedy signing and ratification of this legislation in early 2009.
On behalf of the 650,000,000 people with disabilities throughout the world, I would greatly appreciate your support of this human rights Convention.
Write your own letter to YOUR legislators at “http://capwiz.com/theunderrepresented/issues/alert/?alertid=10596661&queueid=1589533351