Monday, July 27, 2009

United Nations Convention

What a historic day for disability rights around the world. One of the things about traveling in China was discussion of the UN Convention on Disability Rights. In 08 China had already signed on- though disability access in China is lacking. Bush refused to sign it.
Want to read the convention? Go to:

I have a photo from Friday's ADA Celebration. It was taken (due to timeing not because of planning) when the president made this statement...

Office of the Press Secretary


For Immediate Release July 24, 2009


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Today we celebrate the 19th anniversary of the enactment of the
historic Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Signed into law on July
26, 1990, this landmark legislation established a clear mandate against
discrimination on the basis of disability so that people with
disabilities would have an equal opportunity to achieve the American
Our Nation is once again poised to make history for people with
disabilities. I am proud to announce that the United States will sign
the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with
Disabilities, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in New
York on December 13, 2006. The Convention is the first new human rights
convention of the 21st century adopted by the United Nations, and it
represents a paradigm shift in protecting the human rights of 650
million people with disabilities worldwide. We proudly join the
international community in further advancing the rights of people with
As we reflect upon the past and look toward a brighter future, we
recognize that our country has made great progress. More than ever
before, Americans with disabilities enjoy greater access to technology
and economic self-sufficiency. More communities are accessible, more
children with disabilities learn alongside their peers, and more
employers recognize the capabilities of people with disabilities.
Despite these achievements, much work remains to be done. People
with disabilities far too often lack the choice to live in communities
of their choosing; their unemployment rate is much higher than those
without disabilities; they are much likelier to live in poverty; health
care is out of reach for too many; and too many children with
disabilities are denied a world-class education.
My Administration has met these challenges head-on. We have launched
the "Year of Community Living" to help people with disabilities live
wherever they choose. We have nearly doubled the funding for the
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. I was proud to sign the
groundbreaking Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Act and the
Children's Health Insurance Reauthorization Act, which provides health
insurance to millions of additional children. I also lifted the ban on
stem cell more research. These measures demonstrate our commitment to
leveling the playing field for every person with a disability. My
Administration will not rest on these accomplishments, and we will
continue to focus on improving the lives of people with disabilities. I
encourage States, localities, and communities across the country to
cultivate an environment in which the 54 million Americans living with
a disability are valued and respected.
Americans have repeatedly affirmed the importance of protecting the
human rights and dignity of every member of this great country. Through
the steps we have taken, we will continue to build on the ADA and
demonstrate our ongoing commitment to promoting, protecting, and
ensuring the full enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental
freedoms by people with disabilities.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of
America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution
and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim July 26, 2009, as the
Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. I call on Americans
across our country to celebrate the progress we have made in protecting
the civil rights of people with disabilities and to recognize the step
forward we make with the signing of the United Nations Convention on
the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Inspired by the advances of
the last 19 years, let us commit to greater achievements in the years
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-fourth
day of July, in the year of our Lord two thousand nine, and of the
Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and

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