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ADAPT responds to the Senate failure to ratify the CRPD

December 4, 2012

Bob Kafka (512) 431-4085
Bruce Darling (585) 370-6690
Amber Smock


ADAPT joins the rest of the disability community in expressing our deep disappointment that the majority of Republican Senators voted against ratifying the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD). Whatever the individual rationale, this vote is a slap in the face against the community integration principles that are the foundation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the disability community which has worked so hard to secure ratification of this treaty.

Disability rights advocates were hopeful that the Republican party, which in 1990 joined with Democrats to pass the ADA, would do so again in 2012 to pass the CRPD. We were wrong. In the wake of the election, the Republicans need to engage people with disabilities. This vote has just produced the opposite effect.

“I feel like the Republican majority has basically declared war on people with disabilities. This boggles my mind because so much of what we fight for in the disability community is completely consistent with the party’s philosophy. The Republican Senators who voted against the treaty have sided with the extreme elements in their party who apparently don't feel that people with disabilities are fist class citizens deserving of the rights the rest of the country enjoys.” said Marsha Katz of Montana ADAPT.

Although the Senate voted against ratifying the CRPD, disability advocates point out that the negotiations on the fiscal cliff give Republicans another opportunity to demonstrate that they want to broaden their base and engage the disability community. The fiscal cliff threatens not only healthcare services that people with disabilities need but the services and supports that allow people to live their daily lives. Republicans have been calling for “entitlement reform” that arbitrarily cuts Medicaid through block grants which will have a devastating impact on people with disabilities.

“Medicaid funding assures that people with disabilities are provided necessary health care, but Medicaid also funds the services and supports that allow people with disabilities to perform the most basic tasks needed for daily living, including getting in and out of bed, bathing, dressing, cooking and eating,” said Bruce Darling of Rochester ADAPT. “We call on the nation to join the MY MEDICAID MATTERS campaign and fight for this funding.”

ADAPT’s MY MEDICAID MATTERS proposes real Medicaid reform that would contain spending while modernizing Medicaid so that people with disabilities have greater control over their lives and be able to live in the community rather than be forced into institutions.

“Now that the vote on the CRPD is done, Republicans in Congress have a fundamental choice. They can embrace ADAPT’s proposals for true entitlement reform and broaden their base to include people with disabilities or they continue to represent the interests of party extremists and push people with disabilities off the fiscal cliff,” said Bob Kafka of ADAPT of Texas.

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