In First, State Adopts Updated ‘Handicapped’ Symbol
A revamped version of the blue and white icon that’s long symbolized accessibility everywhere from parking lots to restrooms will soon be commonplace in more communities.
Under a bill signed late last week, New York will be come the first state to require all new and replacement signage used to signify accessibility for people with disabilities to include a more active, in-motion image of a person using a wheelchair.
The state will also change the terminology on such signs, employing the word “accessible” instead of “handicapped.”
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The shift is about more than aesthetics, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in signing the legislation.
“This bill is an important step toward correcting society’s understanding of accessibility and eliminating a stigma,” Cuomo said.
New York City and a smattering of other localities, businesses and schools have already agreed to adopt the revamped symbol, known as the “Accessible Icon,” which first gained momentum through a grassroots effort in Boston.
What’s more, the icon is currently on display at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City as part of an exhibit of culturally-relevant designs developed in recent decades.