Can Signage Change Perceptions About Disabilities?

With New York City's embrace, the dream of revamping the iconic blue-and-white handicapped symbol is becoming a reality. As NYC adopts "a more active representation of people with physical limitations," activists hope the change has a broader effect.

The iconic handicapped logo that adorns parking lots, public bathrooms, and entry ramps across America "looks passive, even helpless," says Paul Basken. After years of trying to replace it, "a motley collection of determined activists at Gordon College, a small Christian institution in eastern Massachusetts," may have finally succeeded where others have failed. 

"Their breakthrough is that the City of New York, in a move that could spark similar updates worldwide, has now agreed to use a Gordon-inspired logo that shows the stick figure with active arms, leaning forward, a participant rather than a dependent," reports Basken. 

"Now that Gordon's logo has found a home in New York City, [Wayne Sailor, a co-founder of TASH, an advocacy group for the disabled] thinks it may spur a societal reappraisal of what really would be the most helpful solutions," notes Basken.

"You wind up talking about much more than a logo," Mr. Sailor said. "You wind up talking about the broader, bigger issues of who are these people, what do they need, and where are we in the present."


Full Story: A Team of Academics Redesigns an Icon

Comments

Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
AICP CTP Storefont Display

The first online AICP* CTP exam prep class

Are you ready to take the AICP* Certified Transportation Planner exam?
Priced at $245 for May exam!

City Coasters

Hand-drawn engraved maps of your favorite neighborhoods are divided up across 4 coasters making each one unique.
$36.00
Book cover of Insider's Guide to Careers in Urban Planning

So you want to be a planner...

Check out our behind the scenes look at 25 careers in the Urban Planning field
Starting at $14.95