Monday, November 4, 2013

Make A Difference for Disability Justice!

The following was written by Angel Mules, a Ph.D candidate in Women’s Studies , University of Marylnd, is a woman of color with a developmental disability.   I mentored her as an undergraduae at Penn State and am so proud of her growth and maturity.  Once a reticent girl, content to be last, she has become an outspoken disabilities advocate at the international level.  I am proud to feature Ms Angel Love Miles
I am writing to personally urge you to support the US ratification of The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).  As an American Association of People with Disabilities(AAPD) intern at the US Agency for International Development (USAID) last summer, I was fortunate to serve as a member of the US delegation to the United Nations Conference of State Parties to the CRPD. During this conference, I learned more about the contributions of, and challenges faced by people with disabilities throughout the world. I also got to experience first hand what not ratifying the CRPD means for Americans with disabilities. For the conference, it meant that our delegation could attend, but could not present at the conference. This meant that we could not actively participate as a leader in any of the fruitful international dialogues  and decisions made about how to improve the human rights status of people with disabilities throughout the world. I don’t know about you, but I never thought of America as a country of spectators. We have not progressed in this country because we sat on the sidelines and watched other nations do all the work. Disability rights should not be the one issue where we suddenly decide to be passive agents. In order for America to progress as a nation, we need to share our experiences and ideas with others. International exchange has always been key to our growth and prosperity as a nation, and disability rights is no different. In fact,  the CRPD was largely influenced by the American’s with Disabilities Act which is already the law of our land. Ratifying the CRPD would only affirm our commitment to ensuring equal rights for persons with disabilities in our nation. But it would do more than just that, as it would also hold other nations to a similar standard. It would enable Americans with disabilities like me to travel to other parts of the world as freely as Americans without disabilities, and will empower other nations to meet and even surpass American standards of disability rights . Some of you may have already heard me talk about how my travel to Japan (You can read about it here: ) and Australia (You can read about it here have changed my life! Imagine how many more people with disabilities could have similar opportunities if the US ratified the CRPD!
By now you’re probably thinking that the US ratification of the CRPD sounds like a no brainer; but believe it or not there are lots of opponents, for political reasons that just don’t make sense. That’s why I’m asking you to speak up! If you are in the Washington DC area, PLEASE attend the CRPD US Senate Hearings on November 5th and/or November 12th. TheNovember 5th Hearing will be held at 2:30pm at the  Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room SD-419. Please rsvp to attend at:
You can also contact your Senators to register your opinion on the ratification of the CRPD. The opponents are calling too, so your presence is needed!
1.     Call your Senators to encourage your support:
2.     You can also use social media to tweet, post, etc. Use hashtags #DisabilitiesTreaty, #crpd and #isupportcrpd.
3.     Stay connected, sign the petition and learn more about the CRPD at, an Action Center where you can write letters, sign
the petition, and more. Every signature counts!
4.     Spread the word! Share this email and other information about the importance of the Ratification of the CRPD! Together we can make a difference.
Together we can change the world!
5.      You don’t just have to take my word for it! Watch me and other young people with disabilities advocate for the passage of the CRPD  and other
disability rights  policies  as we stress the significance  of the ADA in this PSA
In solidarity,
Angel L. Miles
Women’s Studies Doctoral Candidate
University of Maryland, College Park

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