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CRPD Basics for Youth Advocates (and You!)

Sue Reeves

08/29/2014

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What is the CRPD (Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities)?
The CRPD is a United Nations treaty, already signed by 158 nations. The CRPD would give people with disabilities around the world the same protections as the Americans with Disabilities Act gives to people in the United States.

Why is the CRPD important?
The CRPD is important so that American citizens with disabilities will have the same opportunities and protections when they travel in other countries that they have at home in the United States. The United States Congress failed to pass the CRPD last year and will consider it again after the summer recess in early September. Senator Hatch has been opposed to the United States’ ratification of the treaty, but has said that he may be open to reconsidering his position.

Who is Senator Hatch?
Senator Orrin Hatch is the senior senator from Utah. He has been a strong ally to individuals with disabilities since he was first elected to the United States Senate in 1976 (38 years ago, before any youth advocates were born!). Over the past several decades, Senator Hatch has been a champion of disability rights in the United States.

What has Senator Hatch done for people with disabilities?
• 1978: Senator Hatch formed the Utah Advisory Committee on Disability Issues to find out from disability advocates in Utah how disability-related legislation would affect them and their families. The Disability Advisory Committee continues to meet monthly with the Senator’s staff 36 years later to give input on important issues.
• 1990: Senator Hatch played a critical role in getting the original Americans with Disabilities Act passed.
• 2008: Senator Hatch helped pass the 2008 amendments to the ADA, which strengthened the law to improve the rights of people with disabilities to work, travel, and participate fully in our communities.
• Most recently, Senator Hatch has: -- Voted for the Autism Cares Act to improve research, education, and supports for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). -- Sponsored the Technology Education and Accessibility College in Higher Education (TEACH) Act to develop accessibility guidelines for instructional materials and related information technology in college settings. -- Co-sponsored the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act designed to make it easier for people with disabilities to save money and not be penalized by losing important benefits.

What can you do to help?
Let Senator Hatch know how much you appreciate all the work he’s done for people with disabilities. Then let him know he can continue to help people with disabilities by voting yes on the CRPD!

Here are some ideas on how you can do this:
Facebook
Go to Senator Hatch's Facebook page here and "like" it. Make a paper sign that says: Thank you for helping #PWD, Sen. Hatch! Have someone take a picture of you holding the sign. Upload the photo to Sen. Hatch’s Facebook page once. Ask your friends to do this, too. Go to the CPD's Facebook page here  (and like us if you want to!) Every weekday (Monday through Friday) until Sept. 8 we will post something about the CRPD. Click the “share” button and add this: @SenOrrinHatch, please vote yes on #CRPD!
or this: @SenOrrinHatch, please support #CRPD!
or this: @SenOrrinHatch, thank you for helping #PWD! Please vote yes on #CRPD!  Mix them up to avoid looking spammy. Ask your friends to do this, too.
If you want to do more, go to your own Facebook page and post this one time each week until Sept. 8 (just copy and paste): Thank you, @SenOrrinHatch, for 38 years of helping people with disabilities! You championed #ADA #ABLE #TEACH and #AutismCares. Now, please, continue your legacy by voting to ratify #CRPD!
Ask your friends to do this, too.

Twitter
Go to the CPD's Twitter feed here  (and follow us if you want to!) Every weekday (Monday through Friday) we will tweet something about the CRPD. Click the “retweet” button, and add RT (for “retweet”) at the beginning of the tweet.
Ask your friends to do this, too. If you want to do more, you can tweet each of these once per day (just copy and paste): OpEd to @SenOrrinHatch: Do right by veterans with disabilities, ratify #crpd. http://ow.ly/ArI6O Thank you, @SenOrrinHatch, for 38 years as a champion for #PWD! #ADA #ABLE #TEACH #AutismCares. Please vote yes on #CRPD too! #utpol

Please do not exceed the recommended number of posts, shares, tweets and retweets. If you post more often, you run the risk of being blocked as a spammer.

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