The United States Thursday signed a United Nations treaty aimed at protecting the rights of 650 million people with disabilities worldwide.
The Bush administration had refused to endorse the convention, arguing that it would weaken protections offered to U.S. citizens by the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act. The treaty will next be submitted to the U.S. Senate for ratification.
… “We all still have a great deal more to do at home and abroad,” said U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice. “As President Obama has noted, people with disabilities far too often lack the choice to live in communities of their own choosing; their unemployment rate is much higher than those without disabilities; they are much more likely to live in poverty; health care is out of reach for far too many; and too many children with disabilities are denied a world class education.”
Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to the president, announced the creation of a high level post in the State Department to promote the rights of people with disabilities around the world.
UPDATE: Remarks by Valerie Jarrett and Rice are here.