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The following can be attributed to Dr. T. Alan Hurwitz, President of Gallaudet University:

We are disappointed the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) treaty was not ratified by the U.S. Senate. The CRPD is important because it represents a cultural shift in the perception and description of people with disabilities. Its eight guiding principles ensure that people with disabilities enjoy full participation and inclusion in society, equality of opportunities, accessibility, and non-discrimination. Fortunately, the U.S. does have the Americans with Disabilities Act in place to protect the rights of people with disabilities regarding accessibility, public accommodations, employment, and discrimination.

A section in the CRPD refers to “recognizing and promoting the use of sign languages.” It is my hope that the U.S. will continue to recognize and promote the use of sign language as reflected in the U.N. Convention.

Gallaudet is pleased the treaty has been ratified in 126 countries.

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