The Accessible Icon Project provides supplies and services to transform the old International Symbol of Access into an active, engaged image. We think visual representation matters. People with disabilities have a long history of being spoken for, of being rendered passive in decisions about their lives. The old icon, while a milestone in ADA history, displays that passivity: its arms and legs are drawn like mechanical parts, its posture is unnaturally erect, and its entire look is one that make the chair, not the person, important and visible. As people with disabilities of all kinds—not just chair users—create greater rights and opportunities for social, political, and cultural participation, we think cities should evolve their images of accessibility too.
Comparing the old symbol with the new3>
Describing the new image with words such as: active, abled, engaged, ready-for-action, determined, and motivated helps provoke discussion on how we view disabilities and people with disabilities in our culture. The symbol does not “represent” people with disabilities, but symbolizes the idea that all people with disabilities can be active and engaged in their lived environment. Our active accessibility symbol helps re-imagine how society and individuals view people with disabilities.
Moving Forward 3>
The Accessible Icon works in three ways:
- CHANGE: You can use our products or resources to change your signs.
- ADVOCATE: We have resources for involving your community in disability advocacy.
- SHARE: We'd love to hear from you. The icon is a starting place---a seed for conversations about accessibility, inclusion, and disability rights.