In recognition of International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2015, President Obama stated, “The United States as long been a leading voice for the rights of persons with disabilities, and we join the international community in expressing our support for them in all they do and in recognizing them as the valuable members of society that they are. This year, we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) — landmark legislation that helps ensure the places that make up our shared national life truly belong to everyone — we also recognize that protective the rights of those with disabilities is not just an American ideal, but a cornerstone of our work to ensure human rights around the globe.”
Given the importance the United States places on embracing diversity, ending discrimination, removing barriers, and upholding the rights, dignity, and equal opportunity for all people both within the U.S. and around the world, the ADA International Fellowship Program supports the aims of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), which was created to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights by persons with disabilities. The ADA International Fellowship Program specifically honors the long term work of Senator Robert Dole and Senator Thomas Harkin dedicated to implementing the ADA and supporting and empowering individuals with disabilities of all ages. Senators Dole and Harkin were important bipartisan champions for disability rights over several decades in the United States Senate. They both played a key role in the passage of the ADA.
Photo: by US Department of Education, Back to School | Emily Banks from the U.S. Department of Education shadows teacher, … | Flickr