un convention on the rights of persons with disabilities

About the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

About the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

It's kind of ironic when you think about it. An international human rights treaty that is said to have been inspired by the Americans with Disabilities Act exists without ratification by the United States itself. The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocols was adopted at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on December 13, 2006, and opened for signature on March 30, 2007. There were 82 signatories to the Convention, 44 signatories to the Optional Protocol, and 1 ratification of the Convention. This is the highest number of signatories in history to a UN Convention on its opening day. The Convention entered into force on 3 May 2008.

The Convention views disability as a socially created problem and moves beyond access to the physical environment to broader issues of equality and elimination of legal and social barriers to participation, opportunity, health, education, employment and personal development. It embraces the key principal of the independent living movement: the right of people with disabilities to have the same options, freedom, control and self-determination in everyday life that people without disabilities have.

The United States didn't sign on immediately. Not until 2009 when President Obama said from the East Wing of the White House, "Disability rights aren’t just civil rights to be enforced here at home; they’re universal rights to be recognized and promoted around the world."