Is it time for a new wheelchair access icon?

We are all very familiar with the disabled person sign. It is a well known disability icon but do people assume that only only people in a wheel chair can be disabled? In fact people in a wheelchair represents only a tiny proportion of the disabled population. People who are deaf, blind, suffer from cerebral palsy or have a learning difficulties all fall into the disabled category. I can stagger or lurch exceptionally well, I can talk the talk and I’m disabled. So what?

Did you know?

In the UK it is estimated that there are an estimated 740,000 wheelchair users in the UK. There are approximately 11 million disabled people in the UK, this is equivalent to 20% of the population.

The cost is mind boggling

Is it time to change the disabled symbol? Do you think a new symbol will have the same instant recognition. Also think of the cost of implementing this idea. Repainting the symbols on the road, changing all the signs on road side, shops, toilet doors, cafes, etc, the cost is mind boggling

Have you tried pushing yourself in a wheelchair?

I agree that the new symbol is better because it shows the disabled person being more active, in control of their own destiny. The existing one is a passive image but instantly recognizable. It is a rare sight to see a disabled person propelling themselves in a wheelchair. Have you tried ever tried to push some one in a wheelchair through a town?

Can you do a wheelie a wheelchair?

Get in a wheelchair and try pushing yourself up a small incline. Push yourself along the pavement, did you notice how the wheelchair will always try to go down the slope so watch out if there is a camber. As for negotiating small steps or the kerb, forget it unless you can balance a wheelchair on its large rear wheels, i.e. do a wheelie

The International Symbol of Access has been in circulation since 1969. Are people suggesting a change because they want something different or because the wrong message is being put across. ‘Don’t fix it if it ain’t bust’ is a message that is ignored by so many people.

Which one do you prefer?

Call me boring but I’m quite happy with the old symbol.  Am I too much of a conservative, showing my age (I’m only 58)? Do tell me which one you prefer. Which one do you prefer? Leave a comment and let me know

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