You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to www.journalgazette.net/newsletter and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.

Editorial columns

  • Hoosier court reinforces lack of hope in justice system
    Recently, the Indiana Supreme Court added to its legacy of contempt for working-class Hoosiers by proclaiming that a deceptively named “right-to-work” law does not violate the Indiana Constitution.
  • Erin's House helps grieving kids cope
    We have all seen the headlines – car accident, one fatality, a male 35 years old – but we sometimes forget the likelihood that there is a child tied to this adult. Maybe he was a father, uncle, brother, cousin or dear friend.
  • Word to the wise: Build vocabulary early
    The PNC Financial Services Group recently hosted the Guinness Book of World Records attempt for largest vocabulary lesson as part of Grow Up Great, our early childhood education program.
Advertisement

Web letter by Rylin Rodgers: Disabilities treaty’s ratification promotes U.S. values worldwide

I was in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 4, 2012. It should have been an amazing day to celebrate a ratification that embodied the leadership of American values: individual rights, freedom, equality and access into the world. But that is not how the day turned out.

Instead, the U.S. Senate failed to ratify the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. In a shockingly disappointing reflection of our current political landscape and political discourse, nearly 40 Republican senators, including our own Dan Coats, voted against ratification. CRPD is a treaty that seeks to ensure that people with disabilities around the world have the same rights as everyone else. It affirms the values of dignity, empowerment, economic self-sufficiency, self-determination and non-discrimination – all values Americans hold dear. Furthermore, it seeks to ensure that all Americans, including our veterans with disabilities, enjoy the same rights outside the U.S. that they do here at home.

It is for these reasons that the treaty enjoyed tremendous support from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, from 21 veterans organizations, from the entire Senate Democratic caucus and from such prominent Republican leaders as Sen. John McCain, former Sen. Bob Dole and Indiana’s statesman, former Sen. Richard Lugar.

What is most disheartening is that the treaty failed to pass based on fear and misinformation. U.S. sovereignty was never in jeopardy. No changes to U.S. law would be required by ratification because our domestic laws – upon which the treaty’s recommendations are modeled – are so strong. Yet opponents rallied their political forces with fear-driven false claims of limits on homeschooling and expansion of abortion. Fear is real, but so are facts. Looking at them carefully is critical to making informed decisions.

CRPD in being reintroduced in the Senate. It is time for Hoosiers to speak out in support of the American values it embodies and encourage Coats and Sen. Joe Donnelly to support its passage. American leadership is still a powerful and much-needed force for good in the world. Please join me in urging Coats and Donnelly to support ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

RYLIN RODGERS

Training director

Family leadership coordinator

Riley Child Development Center

Indianapolis

Advertisement