USA Joins UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities

At the end of last week, on 30 July, the United States became an official signatory to the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. 03 Aug 2009 By IPC

The emotional and inspirational event was a giant leap forward for the Paralympic Movement in the USA. The US Ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, signed the Convention in New York City, USA, with attendees from the Movement, including International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Governing Board Member Ann Cody and Paralympian Linda Mastandrea, which is also the Director of Paralympic Sport for 2016 Candidate City Chicago.

After the ratification by the US Senate, the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities will become the fourth major human rights treaty ever adopted by the USA.

IPC President Sir Philip Craven saw the signing as a tremendous opportunity for Paralympic Sport and athletes in the USA. “Awareness and knowledge of the Paralympic Movement will inevitably increase in the USA with this signing, and all athletes will have equal opportunities when playing sport,” Sir Philip said. “Ultimately this will also have a positive, global impact on Paralympic Sport and its future.”

History was made in 2008 at the Beijing Paralympic Games when the unveiling of the UN Convention on Rights for Persons with Disabilities Wall in the Paralympic Village took place before the start of the Games and drew a large crowd of athletes, officials and supporters. The Convention was introduced unanimously in 2006 by the delegates of the 192 UN Member Nations.

The UN Convention on Rights for Persons with Disabilities recognizes that persons with a disability have the right to participate in sporting activities with a choice between mainstream and disability-specific programmes.

For more information about the Convention, please visit