Dear President Bush,
History was made on March 30, 2007 when over eighty countries signed the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities at the UN signing ceremony. The fastest negotiated international human rights treaty ever, the Convention has enjoyed unprecedented international support and record-setting numbers of signatures. The Convention not only articulates basic rights of persons with disabilities but focuses on the actions necessary to ensure that these basic rights are more than hollow declarations.
When President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act on July 26, 1990, he established the U.S. as a world leader in the global fight for the rights of people with disabilities. When he signed the ADA, your father declared, \"Let the shameful wall of exclusion finally come tumbling down.\"
As a result of leadership with the ADA, that wall has been crumbling... bit by bit, and the landscape for people with disabilities has experienced radical transformation here in America. Yet, for most of the more than 650 million people with disabilities worldwide, that wall is as strong as ever. Eighty percent of the world\'s disabled live in developing countries, many in destitute circumstances, and they demand the liberation of a transformative law that can point the way toward true equality and full participation in society. The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities provides an opportunity for those tides of change.
At this most crucial moment, we call upon you to continue the legacy your father began. We call upon you to sign the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to allow the United States to continue its leadership role as a global champion for the human rights of people with disabilities.
The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) is the largest national, nonprofit, cross-disability member organization in the United States, dedicated to ensuring political empowerment and economic self-sufficiency for the more than 51 million Americans with disabilities.
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Text of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: http://www.un.org/disabilities/convention/conventionfull.shtml Disabled Peoples\' International online Ratification Toolkit: http://www.icrpd.net Generate local support for the U.S. to sign the Convention: http://www.jfanow.org/jfanow/index.phpmode=A&id=3211;&sort=D
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