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Diplomacy in Action

State in 60 Seconds: Disabilities Treaty

Judith E. Heumann
Special Advisor for International Disability Rights 
Washington, DC
December 3, 2013


Hi everyone. I’m Judy Heumann, and I want to share something with you.

More students with disabilities are attending universities than in years past and have the same career aspirations as students without disabilities. You want to study, work, travel, and serve your country abroad. But many countries don’t have the same accessibility standards or protections against discrimination as we do in the United States. I have a disability and use a wheelchair all the time, and I have traveled around the world. I understand firsthand the problems that people with disabilities encounter when traveling abroad. Countries that do not have laws like ours may also limit opportunities for those living with disabilities.

And that’s why I’m working on the United States ratification of the Disabilities Treaty. We believe ratification is the right thing to do for the American people. It will help us better protect the rights of disabled people.

To learn more, please visit our website ( and follow me on Twitter (@IntDisability). Thank you very much.

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