"Don't define someone by their disability" says US Senator

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Tom Harkin. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

Don't define someone by their disability but define them by their ability, said United States Senator Tom Harkin when taking a tour of the United Nations Centre for the audio, visual, and physically impaired on Friday.

Senator Harkin is the lead advocate for disability rights in The United States Congress.

The Senator's visit to the Accessibility Centre in New York comes after the recent U.S. Senate rejection for the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

The convention would establish an international standard for disability rights for an estimated 1 billion people around the world.

Senator Harkin spoke passionately about the UN Convention and what it means to him.

"Well it means that we now have a global effort to make things more accessible for everyone for all persons with disabilities in education, in transportation, communication, everything. To me that's what CRPD means, it means raising standards all globally for persons with disabilities and if I might add, what we have found at least in the united states and I'm sure in other countries too, that when you make a system better for a person with a disability its makes it better for people without disabilities."

Senator Harkin says he will work tirelessly to ensure the U.S. Senate ratification of the CRPD.

Stephanie Castro, United Nations

Duration: 1’22″

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