President Barack Obama is expected to announce this Friday that he will sign the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, White House aides say.

The move is set to coincide with the 19th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

By signing the convention, the United States will join more than 100 countries in supporting the United Nations effort to remove barriers for the estimated 650 million people around the world with disabilities. Specifically, the treaty seeks to expand community access and employment opportunities while improving the standard of living for people with disabilities.

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“On Friday, the president will announce this administration’s decision to join all the other nations who have signed this convention, thereby affirming internationally the commitment enshrined in our own national law and our long-standing leadership in protecting the rights of people with disabilities,” White House spokesman Shin Inouye told Disability Scoop.

The convention became available for countries to sign onto in 2007. Obama indicated his support for it while campaigning for president. Once the he signs the convention, it will be sent to the Senate for review.

“This treaty is good for America, good for people with disabilities and good for the world,” says Marca Bristo, president of The United States International Council on Disabilities. “By signing this treaty the U.S. is reaffirming its commitment to basic human rights of all people with disabilities and positioning us to better contribute our expertise on the global level.”

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