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Direct Action Needed Now

July 28, 2014

The Vermont Center for Independent Living is advocating for the U.S. Senate to ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

CRPD is a treaty that describes the obligations of ratifying countries to promote, protect, fulfill and ensure the rights of persons with disabilities. The treaty embodies the American ideals that form the basis of the Americans with Disabilities Act —empowering persons with disabilities to be independent and productive citizens.

Sarah Launderville, executive director of VCIL, is in Washington, D.C., this week and hoping to see a vote that ratifies the treaty.

She said, “This treaty is important to our community. Right now countries signed onto the treaty are doing very important work and we want to be part of that process.”

The United States signed the CRPD on July 30, 2009, joining 141 other signing nations. On May 17, 2012, following almost three years of interagency review, the Obama administration submitted its treaty package to the Senate for its advice and consent for ratification. Signature of a treaty only conveys preliminary endorsement and demonstrates a country’s intent to examine the treaty domestically and consider ratification. Ratification of the CRPD would have shown the serious commitment of the United States to disability rights.

Launderville is calling for advocates to contact their senators and share their stories of the importance of the United States participating in this important work. Additional information can be found at: