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‘Handicapped’ Symbol Gets Facelift


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An effort to revamp the icon that’s long symbolized accessibility on everything from parking lot signs to bathrooms is gaining traction with New York City agreeing to adopt a new look.

New York City plans to adopt a redesigned

New York City plans to adopt a redesigned “handicapped” symbol. (Courtesy:

An updated version of the seemingly ubiquitous blue and white “handicapped” symbol will soon be plastered across New York.

Rather than depict a static person in a wheelchair, the new icon displays an active, in-motion version of life with a physical disability.

“It’s such a forward-moving thing,” Victor Calise, commissioner of the New York mayor’s Office for People With Disabilities, told The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Backers of the new icon, which was spearheaded by a philosophy professor at Gordon College in Massachusetts, say they hope that adoption by the nation’s largest city will lead to more widespread acceptance of the design.

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Comments (52 Responses)

  1. Sara McHale says:

    I agree with Jennifer. I am what I am. A sign doesn’t define me. A sign explaining the need to vacate the hashmarked area next to the disabled person parking space is what I would like to see more of. I saw several in Maryland and was very impressed by them.

  2. Frank CPL says:

    If you want to get technical that is the sign for accessibility not handicapped. Every chance I get I remind the powers that be that it’s not a Handicap parking sign. What the sign is handicapped? It’s a Disabled Only parking sign. If they are going to change anything call it what it is. You’re not a handicapped person you are a person with whatever disability. I’m a “person with a spinal disability”. I am in no way a handicap

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