UN Disability Treaty Convention fails in the Senate~one mom’s reaction

un disability treaty
Click to read John Kerry’s pre-vote thoughts.

If you follow this blog, then you followed our adventure as I took my son to Harrisburg to lobby for special education funding reform. Our bill failed to pass. Why? Politics. Our elected legislators let politics get in the way. That bill had UNANIMOUS SUPPORT and it ended up failing.

Yesterday we were all calling our Senators about the UN Disability Treaty. Over 300 national disability rights groups supported it. It wouldn’t have cost us any money. It wouldn’t have changed any laws. Hell, the bill was based on our own ADA Act! We were the friggin’ model! The only thing it would have done is raised the international standards of living for people living with disabilities.

It failed, 62-38. All 38 “NO” votes were Republicans. I’m furious with tears.

Day to day, this probably wouldn’t have changed our lives one bit. But it was about validation. It was about being told we matter. Because we do matter.

“I do not support the cumbersome regulations and potentially overzealous international organizations with anti-American biases that infringe upon American society,”

said Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla.

What planet is this guy on? Has he even read the treaty? My guess is no.

This is the message that Republicans felt they had to send:

1. We still control the Senate and don’t you forget it, Democrats, as we discuss this whole fiscal cliff thing and

2. No, no, no, we don’t support the UN in any fashion. (The UN is VERY unpopular with the conservative Right).

There is no reason you could be opposed to this that has merit. The only reason you could oppose this is to be a dick. Do they not realize that 10-15% of the population is disabled? Do you think those people are all Democrats?

This was NOT a controversial bill! It had the support of over 300 Disability Rights groups nationwide. It’s not anything different than what we already do. And yes, now I’m repeating myself because that’s what I do when I’m angry.

It really isn’t controversial,” Kerry, D-Mass., said. “What this treaty says is very simple. It just says that you can’t discriminate against the disabled. It says that other countries have to do what we did 22 years ago when we set the example for the world and passed the Americans with Disabilities Act.”

This is one of those days when I really miss Ted Kennedy. Would it have made a difference? Maybe not. I just would feel more confident with him there. We’ll never know.

I’m tired. I’m tired of being told that my family is a burden to society and that we don’t matter. We are routinely marginalized, routinely told we don’t matter. And I’m tired of it. I’m tired of asshats like Santorum being allowed to the voice of us. He does not represent me.

But one thing I’m not tired of … fighting for our kids. This is not over!

One of my favorite bands is Sugarland, and cheesy as it may be, as she sings

I ain’t settling for just getting by
I’ve had enough so-so for the rest of my life
Tired of shooting too low, so raise the bar high
Just enough ain’t enough this time
I ain’t settling for anything less than everything

Our kids deserve nothing less than everything. Let’s keep on keepin’ on!

Want to contact your Senator and voice your disgust? Please do–here is a list of their Twitter handles.

US Senators List of Twitter ID, or find their phone numbers here. I called mine yesterday and both will be hearing from me tomorrow. One will be a thank you call, the other won’t.

ETA, 12/5: In the light of day, I am adding to this. I am adding the actual text of the document, in English. It is available in other languages on the UN website. I can’t believe that so many people would believe whatever is posted on some online listserv or Facebook group and not fact check. You really should be embarrassed at allowing yourself to be so easy manipulated. Homeschooling was not ever in danger of going away, and this would not open the door for terrorists to pretend they are disabled and gain access to our country. Seriously?



ted quote
Probably his most famous quote. Photo courtesy of Flickr.

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