Obama Statement on the International Day of Disabled Persons
Senator Barack Obama today released the following statement on the United Nations' International Day of Disabled Persons.
"On this International Day of Disabled Persons, I stand with the roughly six hundred million people around the world, including fifty-four million Americans, who experience some form of disability. I share their vision of an inclusive and just world that is free of unnecessary barriers, stereotypes, and discrimination. Policies must be developed, attitudes must be shaped, and buildings and organizations must be designed to ensure that everyone has a chance to get the education they need, fulfill their potential, and live independently as full citizens in their communities. And every nation has a special responsibility to look after those who can't live on their own - because every human being deserves to live with dignity and respect."
"The United States should lead the world to achieve this vision. But seventeen years after Congress enacted the Americans with Disabilities Act, leading other nations to pass similar laws, our leadership has faded. As president, I will restore America's leadership. I will make the United States a signatory to the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities - the first human rights treaty approved by the UN in the 21st century and a critical step toward respecting the rights of people with disabilities worldwide. And I will urge the U.S. Senate to swiftly ratify the Convention."
"Next week, I will lay out a detailed agenda for reforming American society to break down the barriers that exclude Americans with disabilities. We need to build an America where those with disabilities have the same opportunities as everybody else. That is my goal, and I will accept nothing less."