Click here to tell your senator that the public health community wants the Senate to vote in favor of ratifying the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Photo by APHA

The full Senate last considered the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, or CRPD, in 2012, falling five votes short of the two-thirds supermajority vote required. If ratified, the treaty would allow the U.S. to accelerate the progress of allowing the 1 billion people worldwide with disabilities to pursue inclusive, healthy and productive lives.

Earlier this month, APHA sent a letter to U.S. Sens. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) urging the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to swiftly advance the treaty. The committee did just that Tuesday with a 12-6 vote.

The treaty is similar to the Americans with Disabilities Act, which since passing in 1990 has significantly improved the wellness of people living with disabilities — including the highest U.S. federal hiring rates in 32 years.

“The ability to work, learn, live and travel for Americans with disabilities should not be confined to the U.S. borders,” APHA’s letter states. “Let us expand these opportunities by sharing our knowledge and experiences, and signal to the world that the U.S. continues to serve as a leader on these important issues.”

CRPD has been ratified by 147 other nations.  According to Marca Bristo, president of the U.S. International Council on Disabilities, “failure by our Senators to ratify this treaty would be a betrayal of the American disability community, who, as recent polling tells us, vote in higher numbers than almost any other group.”

Visit APHA to tell your senator that a Senate vote in favor of ratification will improve public health worldwide.