Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Senseless and Shameful

I am pretty sure that many were jubilant when in 1990 then President George H.W. Bush signed into law the American with Disabilities Act (ADB).  The law is the culmination of long years of hard work by the disability rights movement. After all people with disabilities constitute the largest minority group in the US.

The Disability Funders Network says that more than 20 million families, out of the 60.6 million families in the US have at least one member with a disability.  The statistics are expected to double over the next 20 years as veterans from the middle-east wars return home.

I am also sure that many were no less than  stupefied after the US Senate shot down the ratification of the United Nations' Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), which ironically was patterned after the ADB -- something that the US can trumpet, be proud of, and take leadership in. 

The Senate fell short of 5 votes of the two-thirds majority needed for ratification. 

A huge direct impact of the UN initiative on those with disabilities is protection. When a war veteran, for example, travels abroad he is assured of the  same rights and privileges as those he enjoys in the US. 

The argument of senators who voted against the treaty had something to do with supposedly "compromising US sovereignty." 

Referring to the UN, Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma said: “This unelected bureaucratic body would pass recommendations that would be forced upon the United States if we were a signatory."

Disabled veterans of the Iraq war. Source:
Huh?  What?     

 -- Ariel Murphy                    

1 comment:

  1. I well rememeber the outrage when the Act became law.