APTA has added its voice to the long list of supporters of an international treaty on the rights of persons with disabilities, stating that it fits squarely within the association's vision of transforming society. The letter of support from APTA coincided with rallies held on Capitol Hill to press Senate passage of the United Nations (UN) Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) that would establish protections against discrimination and support equal access to education, among other basic human rights.
The UN drafted the CRPD in large part as a response to nations that, unlike the US, do not clearly articulate the rights of persons with disabilities. "Because of discriminatory practices, persons with disabilities tend to live in the shadows and margins of society, and as a result their rights are overlooked," write the convention's authors. "A universal, legally binding standard is needed to ensure that the rights of persons with disabilities are guaranteed everywhere."
Nearly 150 countries have already signed the treaty. The CRPD needs Senate approval only but requires a supermajority for passage.
"APTA commends the purpose of this treaty, as the CRPD embodies the values of the ADA," writes APTA President Paul A. Rockar Jr, PT, DPT, MS, in the letter of support. "As a profession committed to 'transforming society by optimizing movement to improve the human experience,' we support this initiative to facilitate equal access to patients we serve across the lifespan."
It was unclear at the time of this writing whether the CRPD would be taken up by the Senate before the session's close on August 1. Participants in 2 rallies set for July 29 aim to convince the Senate to move on the treaty before leaving town.
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