International Day of Persons with Disabilities Statement by Amb. Susan E. Rice

On December 3, we recognize the contributions of disabled people and honor all who fight for equal access, equal opportunity, and equal protection within our communities. Two years ago, I was proud to sign the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on behalf of the United States, affirming our belief that discrimination against disabled people is both deeply unjust and powerfully destructive to global development and security.

President Obama has worked steadfastly to uphold our obligations to disabled Americans by promoting equal employment in the U.S. federal government, improving educational services and outcomes through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and increasing the availability of public transportation to all Americans. As the President has said, the talents and contributions of disabled individuals “are vital to the strength of our Nation’s workforce and our future prosperity.” So they are to global health and prosperity. Today and every day, the United States will find common cause with all who seek to uphold and protect the universal rights of disabled people.

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