Richard Thornburgh and Tom Ridge, both former governors of Pennsylvania, issued an opinion advocating US lawmakers to ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), which would protect the rights and freedoms of individuals with disabilities across the world:
"As longtime advocates for persons with disabilities and individuals directly impacted by disability, we recognize that the ratification of the CRPD would be a victory not only for those whose rights are protected, but also for the ideals of freedom and equality for all that are the bedrock on which this nation was built. [...]
We are acutely aware that the international community looks to the United States as an exemplar, providing a way forward for protecting individual rights. The CRPD builds on the framework of the ADA and exports the protections given to citizens in the United States to the rest of the world. By ratifying this treaty, the Senate will signal that America remains a leader and pioneer in protecting the freedoms of people with disabilities.
Not only does ratification allow the United States to frame the standards for disability rights globally, but it protects American citizens and veterans with disabilities from discrimination and onerous restrictions abroad. Though protected from discrimination at home, our veterans with disabilities who want to travel and work abroad may be subject to unjust travel restrictions and face limitations in employment."
NOD is proud to have Giorgi Akheteli, a fellow from The McCain Institute for International Leadership, serve as our liason during the U.S. Senate hearings on the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Based on the campus of Arizona State University, the institute invites a number of emerging leaders from around the world to complete a year-long fellowship within the United States. Mr. Akheteli is working from the NOD offices in Manhattan while he pursues research and advocacy projects on disability policies.
In this blog commentary, Giorgi Akheteli recounts his experience at a hearing of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations committee, where lawmakers considered a U.S. ratification of this international treaty that would promote equality of access to people with disabilities across the world. Mr. Akheteli considers the pathway the U.S. has set for emerging democracies--especially within the fight for disability rights--and encourages America's lawmakers to continue that tradition.
NOD Chairman Tom Ridge says a great way to honor our veterans on Veterans Day - especially our wounded warriors - is to help them find a job. Gov. Ridge made his comments during a live Veterans Day broadcast on Philadelphia radio station WPHT-AM.
Human rights and disability rights advocates packed three rooms and tuned in via social media on Tuesday to watch the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations hearing regarding the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).
“The CRPD will not change American law, but it is important because it provides access to the most important international forum on the rights of people with disabilities,” said Thomas Ridge, former secretary of homeland security and current chair of the National Organization on Disability, in his testimony before the committee. “If the U.S. wants to effectively promote access abroad, we must ratify the disability treaty.”
SSG (RET) Harry V. Louque captivated an audience of nearly 600 at ServiceSource's Service Excellence Awards Banquet in Washington, DC, in his acceptance speech for the 2013 New Horizons Award.
In 2009, after serving two tours of duty in the armed forces, Louque was medically retired from the Army and referred to NOD's Wounded Warrior Careers program, where he began working with career specialist Dwayne Beason. With Beason’s assistance, Louque secured transitional employment with ServiceSource, an employment and rehabilitation organization, as a Clerk with the Directorate of Logistics at Fort Bragg to gain practical work experience.
As part of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) and Disability Mentoring Month, NOD President Carol Glazer talked on air with Joyce Bender for the internet radio show, Disability Matters. Disability Matters focuses on the employment and empowerment of people with disabilities. It is one of the first international talk radio shows with real-time captioning.
October 8, 2013, Philadelphia, PA – PECO President and CEO Craig Adams announced today that the company has partnered with the National Organization on Disability on a 2014 initiative to hire individuals with disabilities. The announcement was made at a luncheon and panel discussion cosponsored by Exelon, PECO’s parent company, the Exelon Foundation and the National Organization on Disability (NOD) in honor of National Disability Employment Awareness Month.
The initiative builds on PECO’s existing relationship with NOD and its Start for Success program. As part of the program, the company recently hired two students who just completed successful summer internships.
“The community of people with disabilities is one that has traditionally seen high unemployment and underemployment rates,” said Adams. “It is also a community with a lot of great talent, and we want to take every opportunity to hire and retain that talent as part of our workforce.”
In addition to working with NOD, PECO is planning to partner with community organizations, including AHEDD and Bridges Community Support Services, to help ensure the company meets or exceeds new federal guidelines requiring that workers with disabilities make up at least 7 percent of a company’s employees.
The Department of Homeland Security marked the anniversary of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the first civil-rights statute for persons with disabilities, which also paved the way for the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990.
A commerative video produced for the occasion features remarks by Tom Ridge, the first Secretary of Homeland Security and Chairman of the NOD, as well as FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, White House Associate Director for Public Engagement and Disability Liaison Claudia Gordon, and National Council on Disability Council Member Ari Ne’eman.
September 24, 2013, Wayne, NJ – Toys“R”Us® today announced plans to hire 45,000 employees to staff its stores and distribution centers nationwide as the company ramps up to meet the needs of gift-givers across all of its shopping channels this holiday season. This seasonal number is on par with hiring plans from last year. With traffic in Toys“R”Us stores and on its e-commerce site peaking in the weeks leading up to Christmas, the company’s expanded holiday workforce plays a key role in delivering exceptional customer service and providing memorable shopping experiences.
The company is looking for hardworking, friendly, customer service-focused individuals to join its seasonal team and welcomes all qualified candidates to apply for positions. As part of its commitment to employing a diverse workforce, this year, Toys“R”Us, Inc. has expanded its partnership with the National Organization on Disability to seek out dedicated workers for jobs available at the company’s 10 distribution centers. Additionally, last year the specialty retailer hired more than 1,500 current and retired military service members for holiday positions with Toys“R”Us, and remains committed to supporting members of the armed forces.
Bureau of Labor Statistics reports show that 31.6 percent of working-age people with disabilities were either employed or looking for a job last year, compared with 76.5 percent for people without disabilities.
"The numbers tell the story," said Carol Glazer, the president of the National Organization on Disability. "The unemployment rate for people with disabilities has remained virtually unchanged since we started counting it."