Brenda Battat, Executive Director of Hearing Loss Association of America, joins President Barack Obama and disability representatives from around the country today at the White House to celebrate the 19th anniversary of the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the ground-breaking civil rights legislation for people with disabilities.
The ceremony at the White House on July 24, 2009 is slated to include the announcement by President Obama that the United States has agreed to sign onto the United Nations’ “Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.” The UN signing ceremony is to take place at the UN on July 30, 2009 with The Honorable Susan E. Rice, Permanent Representative, United States Mission to the United Nations, and The Honorable Valerie B. Jarrett, Senior Advisor and Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement. Brenda Battat has also been invited to attend the UN signing ceremony.
“These events highlight the importance of the involvement of people with hearing loss in the disability movement,” says Ms. Battat. “It was HLAA’s founder Rocky Stone and past-president Marcia Dugan who recognized the importance of working internationally and whose influence is seen in this document. We must all work toward inclusion of all people with disabilities, including people with hearing loss in America and around the world.”
The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, adopted by the United Nations in December 2006, is a binding human rights treaty that, according to HLAA past-president, Marcia Dugan, “surpasses in significance and importance all previous such instruments.”
Ms. Dugan, as president of International Federation of Hard of Hearing People (IFHOH), was instrumental in drafting some of the language of Article 21, Access to Information, which addresses communication access issues for hard of hearing, deaf and deaf-blind people. HLAA is one of 50 general members of IFHOH.