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Obama urges Senate to approve UN disability treaty

The many people in New York who live with disabilities know how important the policies our government has put in place are. The Americans with Disabilities Act and others help ensure that people who live with disabilities are treated fairly in the workplace and in other circumstances. Now, President Obama is hoping to further our country's involvement in promoting disability rights, but Congress has not been quite as supportive in the past.

The president has called on the Senate to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. In a vote last year, the Senate was unable to obtain the two-thirds majority needed to approve the ratification of the disability rights treaty.

Although the U.S. signed the treaty four years ago, the Senate must approve the ratification. Ratifying the treaty would not change U.S. laws, but it would allow our country to continue to be an international leader in disability rights. Additionally, ratification would help ensure that U.S. citizens who live with disabilities would be protected during overseas travel.

Although some lawmakers have come out against the treaty, arguing that it could prevent parents from making decisions for their children, Secretary of State John Kerry said the ratification would help promote disability advocacy and advances across the globe, not just in our country.

Continuing to make advancements that protect people who live with disabilities in our country and throughout the world is extremely important. Hopefully the U.S. Senate will understand that and approve the ratification of this treaty.

Source: Disability Scoop, "Obama On UN Disability Treaty: 'Get It Done'," Michelle Diament, Aug. 13, 2013

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