Aljazeera interviews US disability advocates

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recent article by the Qatar-based newsroom Aljazeera included excerpts from  interviews of several US disability advocates, about the challenges facing people with disabilities in the United States.

Failure to Lead

Although the US legal framework for disability rights may provide greater protection than other parts of the world, the U.S. failed to take  a world leadership role in promoting the international development of disability rights when the U.S. Senate refused to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Curtis Decker, the executive director of the National Disability Rights Network commented that when the treaty was struck down on the Senate floor, “it [was] individuals with disabilities in the United States, including American veterans, as well as people with disabilities living in poverty and oppression abroad who look to the leadership of the United States, who truly lost.”

In addition US advocates voiced problems with inclusion of persons with disability in employment, and the work environment.  Joelle Brouner, Executive Director of the Washington State Rehabilitation Council, and Duane French, division director of the Washington state’s disability determination services department, commented on how workers with disabilities are expected to “over-perform” their co-workers to be seen as equals.

At the end of the interview, advocates suggested how the disability rights movement around the world could learn from each country’s strategy for approaching disability rights.

Disability Rights Washington, the sponsor of DisAbility Rights Galaxy, is part of the federally funded protection and advocacy system and a member of the National Disability Rights Network.