WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Bob Menendez, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released a statement after the U.S. Senate passed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2023 this week with a provision he authored to bolster U.S. support for children with disabilities and strengthen the ability of disability rights organizations and families to advocate for critical reforms to protect these children.
“Thirty years ago this month, the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly supported the Americans with Disabilities Act – which protected the basic civil rights of adults and children with disabilities. As we work to increase American leadership to advocate for disability rights across the globe today, I’m proud to see my provisions from the International Children with Disabilities Protections Act included in this year’s NDAA. This legislation will help empower organizations at the forefront of this issue to advocate for children with disabilities globally and promote the development of policies to improve their living standards around the world.”
Chairman Menendez’s provision in the NDAA authorizes $5 million annually for five years for an “International Children with Disabilities Protection Program,” a State Department small-grants program to empower organizations and families advocating for children with disabilities. In addition, the legislation bolsters U.S. policy to promote the development of laws and policies that support the full inclusion of children with disabilities in families.
More information about the original bill is available here.