Autism Speaks | Menendez, McCain Urge Senate to Ratify Disabilities Treaty | Nov. 11, 2013 #AutisticHistory #BanABA


[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]

Menendez, McCain Urge Senate to Ratify Disabilities Treaty

November 11, 2013

WASHINGTON, DC (November 11, 2013) — Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and John McCain (R-AZ) have an op-ed piece published in USA Today calling on the United States Senate to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. In the op-ed,  the Senators the Senate to ratify the treaty, writing, “This treaty is consistent with our nation’s interests and values. The Senate should ratify it this year.” Click here to read the op-ed piece from USA Today.

From November 12-14, there will be further bipartisan efforts on behalf of the autism community as members of Congress join Obama Administration officials, prominent scientists and policy experts, key stakeholders, volunteers and activists at Autism Speaks to Washington, Autism Speaks’ first-ever national policy and action summit. Learn more here and watch the live stream on November 13.

Menendez and McCain: Ratify disabilities treaty

Robert Menendez and John McCainPublished 5:16 p.m. ET Nov. 3, 2013 | Updated 4:45 p.m. ET Nov. 4, 2013

We should be leading the fight for inclusion and justice worldwide.


  • The U.S. set the gold standard for disabilities rights when we passed the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  • However, the Senate voted the disabilities treaty down in December.
  • This week’s hearing will begin a transparent process, with time for debate and opportunities for amendment.

This week, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will begin considering the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which promotes the fairness and equality that people with disabilities enjoy here to countries around the world. This treaty is consistent with our nation’s interests and values. The Senate should ratify it this year.

The U.S. set the global gold standard for disabilities rights when we passed the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990. The act not only improved the lives of Americans living with disabilities, but also inspired other nations to upgrade their laws to recognize that these universal values apply to all citizens. The disabilities treaty before the Senate today is an extension of that act, providing a venue for discussions on disabled access policy internationally. That’s a discussion Americans must lead.

Unfortunately, due to a mix of procedural concerns and some objections that were not consistent with the facts about the treaty, the Senate voted it down in December, falling five votes short of ratification.

We understand our colleagues’ concerns about U.S. sovereignty and the primacy of our laws, and we are committed to addressing any legitimate concerns. But if ever there were a treaty tailor-made for the advocates of American sovereignty, it is this one. This treaty would not constrain our sovereignty; it would extend the protection of human rights on which America has proudly led the world for decades. It would demand that the world be more like America.

As the late senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously said, “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.” Here are the facts:

This treaty would do nothing to change America’s domestic laws regarding abortion. Likewise, nothing in the treaty would impact the right of U.S. parents to home-school their children. As a matter of U.S. and international law, this treaty would hand no power to the United Nations or any other international body to change America’s laws. The opposite is true: The treaty would advance America’s high standards for the treatment of people with disabilities to other nations.

Last year, some senators had concerns that the vote was being held during a lame-duck Congress. The hearing this week will begin an open, transparent process, with time for thorough debate and opportunities for amendment.

Assuring basic human rights for the disabled around the world is vitally important to the American people. Nearly 58 million Americans live with a disability, including 5.5 million military veterans. Global accessibility standards — which would be encouraged by the disabilities treaty — are essential for veterans to safely travel, study and work abroad. That is why the most respected veterans organizations in America — including the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion and the Wounded Warrior Project — support the treaty’s ratification. Indeed, the foremost champion of this treaty is former senator Bob Dole, who was seriously wounded fighting fascism in the mountains of Italy during World War II and went on to become among the nation’s greatest advocates for people with disabilities.

Worldwide, a billion people live with a disability, 80% of whom are in the developing world. In too many places, those with disabilities are housed in institutions separate from their families, without access to the outside world. In some countries, the disabled are denied the most basic rights such as a birth certificate or a name.

The American approach to disability rights springs from the core of our founding documents. It embodies “equality” and “unalienable rights” in the best tradition of our ideals. The United States has already been the trailblazer for the rights of the disabled around the world. Now is not the time to step away, but the time to step up and continue to lead by ratifying the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Robert Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. John McCain, an Arizona Republican, is a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

The Autism Community Is Not The Autistic Community

* The “autism community” is not the Autistic Community. The autism community was created by non-Autistic led organizations and includes mostly parents, professionals and their friends. Most of what the world knows about autism is sourced from the non-Autistic “autism community.”


Autistic people have fought the inclusion of ABA in therapy for us since before Autism Speaks, and other non-Autistic-led autism organizations, started lobbying legislation to get it covered by insurances and Medicaid. 

ABA is a myth originally sold to parents that it would keep their Autistic child out of an institution. Today, parents are told that with early intervention therapy their child will either be less Autistic or no longer Autistic by elementary school, and can be mainstreamed in typical education classes. ABA is very expensive to pay out of pocket. Essentially, Autism Speaks has justified the big price tag up front will offset the overall burden on resources for an Autistic’s lifetime. The recommendation for this therapy is 40 hours a week for children and toddlers.

The original study that showed the success rate of ABA to be at 50% has never been replicated. In fact, the study of ABA by United States Department of Defense was denounced as a failure. Not just once, but multiple times. Simply stated: ABA doesn’t workIn study after repeated study: ABA (conversion therapy) doesn’t work. 

What more recent studies do show: Autistics who experienced ABA therapy are at high risk to develop PTSD and other lifelong trauma-related conditions. Historically, the autism organizations promoting ABA as a cure or solution have silenced Autistic advocates’ opposition. ABA is also known as gay conversion therapy.

The ‘cure’ for Autistics not born yet is the prevention of birth. 

The ‘cure’ is a choice to terminate a pregnancy based on ‘autism risk.’ The cure is abortion. This is the same ‘cure’ society has for Down Syndrome. 

This is eugenics 2021. Instead of killing Autistics and disabled children in gas chambers or ‘mercy killings’ like in Aktion T4, it’ll happen at the doctor’s office, quietly, one Autistic baby at a time. Different approaches yes, but still eugenics and the extinction of an entire minority group of people.

Fact: You can’t cure Autistics from being Autistic.

Fact: You can’t recover an Autistic from being Autistic.

Fact: You can groom an Autistic to mask and hide their traits. Somewhat. … however, this comes at the expense of the Autistic child, promotes Autistic Burnout (this should not be confused with typical burnout, Autistic Burnout can kill Autistics), and places the Autistic child at high risk for PTSD and other lifelong trauma-related conditions.

[Note: Autism is NOT a disease, but a neurodevelopmental difference and disability.]

Fact: Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism.

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