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September 14, 2012Alerts

National Association of the Deaf: Contact Your Senator to Support Ratification of UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities

Forwarded by the Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania –

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PSAD NEWS E-Zine Press Release
Provided by Pennsylvania Society for the Advancement of the Deaf

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The National Association of the Deaf (“NAD”) calls on all deaf and hard of hearing people to contact their Senators and ask them to support ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (“CRPD”).  The treaty, while ratified in a number of international countries, has not been ratified in the United States.

Support for the CRPD by Senate members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on July 26, 2012 moved the treaty through to the general Senate for a floor vote.  The Senate was called to recess on August 3, 2012 before there was an opportunity to vote on the CRPD on the Senate floor.  The Senate returns from recess on Monday, September 10, 2012, but no specific date for a vote on the CRPD has been set.  Sixty-seven (67) Senators (representing a two-thirds majority of the 100 members of the Senate) must vote in favor in order to ratify the CRPD.

While the ADA and the CRPD parallel each other in select instances, the CRPD recognizes the deaf and hard of hearing community’s right to use sign language, receive full access, advocate for equality and immersion in culture.  The CRPD recognizes the cultural values of the deaf community, safeguards the right to communicate using sign language and makes available basic provisions that both improve and protect our access to healthcare, communication and technology.

“The United States can stand shoulder-to-shoulder with other countries who have ratified the CRPD, but only with your advocacy,” said NAD President Chris Wagner.  “We must push for recognition of our community, along with equal access to language, information, healthcare, education and employment, among many other critical pressure points.”

In addition to the NAD, numerous other organizations, including the United States International Council on Disabilities (USICD), continue to promote CRPD ratification.  The NAD encourages every deaf and hard of hearing American, along with their family, friends and co-workers, to ask their state’s two U.S. Senators to support the CRPD.

“Ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities will assure that the rights of millions of deaf and hard of hearing Americans are recognized and respected throughout the world,” said CEO Howard A. Rosenblum.  “Please take this opportunity to tell your Senator to take this important step in the march towards equality.  Urge your Senators to stand on the right side of history.”

Watch Howard Rosenblum, CEO of the NAD explain why the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities is so important to the American deaf community.  You’ll also learn what you can do to support the CRPD right now!

Two reasons why we need your support for CRPD:

1. The CRPD recognizes sign language and deaf culture as human rights, and includes language such as “deaf culture”, “linguistic identity”, and “deaf community.”

2. The United States 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.

For more CRPD information, and breaking-news updates, visit the USICD website.  Remember, the fight is far from over!  You can help to ratify the CRPD in three ways:

1) You need to call or e-mail your Senator RIGHT NOW.  Call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask for your Senator by name.
E-mail:  Here’s a sample message you can copy and paste, and it’ll take you two minutes to send an e-mail to your Senator right here, right now.


RE: Ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Hello, my name is [INSERT YOUR NAME HERE].  I stand with the National Association of the Deaf, among several other organizations and advocates, in my strong support of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. I am writing to you today to urge you to support the ratification of the CRPD. As your constituent, I request that you vote for the ratification of the CRPD when it comes to a vote on the floor of the Senate.

Thank you,


2) You ALSO need to spread the news to everyone you know RIGHT NOW.  Tell them to stand with the National Association of the Deaf and to contact their Senators, and ask for the ratification of the CRPD.  Think family members, co-workers, friends- everyone you know.

If you have Twitter, tweet that you’ve contacted your Senators!  Here’s an example tweet from a deaf Californian who e-mailed her Senators:
“Just told @SenatorBoxer & @SenFeinstein to support the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (#CRPD)! Thanks, @nadtweets!”

Don’t forget to update your Facebook status to tell everyone you’ve done your part, too!

3) If you know that your Senator supports the CRPD, THANK THEM AND ASK THEM TO SUPPORT THE CRPD during the Senate floor vote!
If your Senator is against the CRPD, ASK THEM TO CHANGE THEIR MIND AND SUPPORT THE CRPD during the Senate floor vote!

Thanks for contacting your Senator today, and spreading the word!

Thank you,
Pennsylvania Society for the Advancement of the Deaf

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