United States Special Advisor on International Disability Rights Judith Heumann addressed the Assembly, providing an official statement on these issues in the U.S. context.
On living in the community, Special Advisor Heumann described the Obama administration's commitment to ensuring the protection of the rights of individuals with disabilities by implementing the community living initiative of the Olmstead Act as well as the United States' groundbreaking history in the independent living and self-advocacy movements. On the topic of education, she described federal education laws and the right of people with disabilities to a free and appropriate public education in the most integrated setting appropriate for the student. On situations of risk and humanitarian emergencies, she stated that the United States has a strong commitment to preparing for and responding to these situations to ensure the protection and safety of all people. This process involves the combined effort of twenty federal agencies working together to ensure that persons with disabilities are incorporated throughout the cycle of preparedness and response.
Throughout her remarks, Heumann also acknowledged the integral role of state and local governments in supporting the work of the federal government. Special advisor Heumann stated that the United States takes seriously its international and domestic law obligations to ensure the inclusion and protection of persons with disabilities.
You can click here
to read Special Advisor Heumann's remarks on Living in the Community, and here
to read her remarks on Inclusion and the Right to Education at the State Department website.
Heumann's address was a significant moment for the United States in our engagement on international disability affairs. This is also exciting for the USICD community, which has so benefitted from Judy's longstanding support.