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Disabilities treaty assures fair treatment worldwide

In recent days, in honor of the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, organizations representing people with disabilities as well as individuals with disabilities have worked to urge the Senate to ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Treaty. The treaty, modeled after the ADA, offers a vital framework for creating laws and policies around the world that embrace the rights and dignity of all people with disabilities.

Ratification will allow the U.S. to maintain its leadership role and legitimacy to export the ADA model abroad and give the U.S. an opportunity to play an important role in developing disability rights worldwide without changing any U.S. laws or adding any additional costs to its budget.

What does it mean for U.S. citizens? Americans with disabilities face barriers and discrimination when traveling or studying abroad. By ratifying the CRPD, the U.S. will reduce barriers globally and ensure that Americans have the same access they enjoy in the U.S. when they travel to or study in other countries.

In 2013, ratification failed by just five votes. Sens. Dan Coats and Joe Donnelly have a unique opportunity to show the U.S. supports disability rights throughout the world by voting for ratification of the CRPD. We look forward to thanking them for that support.

JOHN DICKERSON Executive director The Arc of Indiana

Benghazi tragedy ignored in Zimmerman debate

I watched both of President Barack Obama’s speeches on the George Zimmerman verdict and to me both were borderline racial incitement.

I’m 73 years old, a female and white. When I was a teenager and even in my early twenties, I was followed while in some stores, too. Was it because I was fat or was it because I was ugly? Or maybe it was that person’s job to check me out for whatever reasons he or she might have had. Shoplifting or damaging goods or whatever they were told to watch out for.

I’ve seen locked car doors (back then they didn’t “click” like today) but never thought it was because of me. I was taught at an early age to lock car doors because of important papers and items in the glove compartment or things like jackets or sweaters left behind that we didn’t want stolen. I live in an all-white farm community.

What happened in the Zimmerman case is a tragedy, and I hope that we will learn from it. But what about the four Americans who were murdered in Benghazi? Will justice ever be done for them?

The president made speeches about Benghazi too, only they weren’t true. Lies were told over the bodies of the four dead Americans without blinking an eye. The families of the four dead Americans still haven’t heard the truth from him about that.

I hope that everybody involved in that cover-up will hear the screams and cries of those Americans for as long as they live.


Livable wage benefits worker, company, government

Thank you, employers large and small, for giving Americans the opportunity to work, live and dream of a better tomorrow.

How dare the federal government poke its nose into the hundred thousand, millions or billions the company earns? Hardly anyone recognizes this value or sees the wages the company and the employee agree is between the company and the employee.

If the employee does not earn a livable wage and needs to apply for government programs for basic needs, the government is asking: “Why are we paying to support working people?”

Come on, companies large and small, think of it this way: You would save time and manpower if the company did not have to set up a complete operations department designed to assist the employee with obtaining the benefits of the federal programs. Everyone should earn a livable wage ($13.18 for one individual). Do the math.

E.L. ROBINSON Fort Wayne