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Senate Votes No on the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

December 4, 2012— The Senate vote of 61-38 on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was five votes short of the required two-thirds majority.  Senators that oppose the treaty, such as Senator James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), argue that it could “infringe on U.S. sovereignty” and inhibit parents from homeschooling their children with disabilities. Supporters of the treaty, including Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole (R-Kansas), argue that ratification of the treaty would not change U.S. law but would require other countries to adopt and implement the same standards set forth by the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act. The White House Press Secretary released a statement following the Senate vote stating disappointment in the failure to ratify the treaty, as President Obama declared in a written statement just before the vote that “disability rights should not stop at our nation’s shores.”

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The Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for Wireless Technologies is sponsored by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under grant number 90RE5007-01-00. The opinions contained in this website are those of the Wireless RERC and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or NIDILRR.