There is a new icon out there.
We have all seen this symbol.
Everyone knows what this symbol means.
They might call it by different names and terminology. You (might) say handicap sign, I say accessible sign.
What does the above icon say to you. Everyone knows it, has seen it before and may never have thought twice about what it actually says to you. It is a very stagnant picture, passive. Someone sitting there to be moved and helped by others.
Now what does it say to you when you look at the icon below?
Does it say handicapped? Is it passive?
This icon was a project that was developed to transform that international and traditional symbol of access. It started as a research study at Gordon College in the US, and has been in the news recently. There is a site called The Accessible Icon Project to raise awareness and promote this new version of a traditional icon.
A lot of thought went into the icon. How/Why is every part of the symbol the way it is?
The head position, the arm angle, the wheels all to promote forward motion and activity. The idea that it is accessibility that is the issue and the purpose of this symbol; and not that it is because the wheelchair user (or the person who has the placard and uses it) has a disability/challenge.
Take a look at the website (if you are interested). They sell stickers to go over traditional parking lot signs as well as stencils for the parking lot. I think it's a fantastic idea and would like to bring it to my own neighborhood and workplace!