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In light of the failure to ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, a UN Human Rights treaty, TASH and its allies have been work together to build this year’s effort to gain full ratification. Recently, though, the United States International Council on Disabilities made note of an effort to derail the progress that has been made, an opposition led by the Home School Legal Defense Association. Please advise your networks and colleagues of the HLDA’s attempts to confront, berate and sway our attempt of promoting the rights of people with disabilities here at home and abroad.
Please read the following message from USICD, and reference these important resources:
CRPD ALERT: Opposition reaching out to disability community organizations to pull support
As you all know, following the failure of the Senate in December to ratify the disabilities treaty, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), USICD has been preparing to build this year’s effort to get the treaty finally ratified. The disability community’s decision to pursue ratification in 2013 is fully supported and encouraged by our bipartisan group of Senate sponsors and the Senate Majority Leader. We have begun discussions with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee staff for Chairman Menendez and Ranking Member Corker and feel optimistic that hearings will be underway as soon as May.
We wanted to reach out to you today to inform you that we are aware that a number of our 350 plus coalition members have been contacted by the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) in an attempt to pull their support from the treaty. Please advise your state chapters and memberships that this is happening and prepare them for the possible confrontation (we have attached new materials to help with this outreach). A number of individual parents have also been berated by individual HSLDA members and fellow parents. USICD is currently gathering information and will send out talking points to help your affiliates respond to the specific issues raised by these interactions. Let us be clear that this is more of the misinformation about the CRPD being spread by opposition leaders Michael Farris, Rick Santorum and Phyllis Schafly. They have no new attacks but simply are using the same scare tactics on a much grander scale.
The good news is that more and more senators are understanding that these arguments are bogus. The disability community both in DC and in the states have had some productive conversations with senators who voted no in December but have agreed to reconsider their vote this year. With your help, we now just have to make sure these are YES votes.
Please stay tuned for more information from USICD and additional resources for you in moving forward for ratification this year.
David Morrissey & Esme Grant, J.D.
United States International Council on Disabilities