The Accessible Icon Project

Do you ever think about the overt message a sign or icon might convey to an audience?  Even the style of a logo might be interpreted in a way you did not intend. Or worse still, it may reveal subconscious assumptions you didn’t even know you had. There is a grassroots movement to update a sign that we see every day that fits this criteria. The International Symbol of Access, depicting a person on a wheel chair, has come under scrutiny when a duo based in New York began to question the message the figure was communicating about those with disabilities. As The Accessible Icon Project states, “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.” With this thought in mind, an effort to replace the old icon began. A new design with a more active and rounded figure was created. Stencils were made, and New Yorkers began to take notice of the new icon being sprayed over  the old one. Needless to say it caught on and many are now working to have the more active icon implemented across the country as the new standard. Take a look at the two logos above; what do you think of the proposed update?