It’s not a new issue but lately I have been noticing more and more people who think that the current International Symbol of Accessibility isn’t suitable as it doesn’t represent the full range of disabilities, so do we need to change the disability logo?
I won’t go into this in too much depth because believe me, it is one of those topics that is very complicated.
Basically people are saying that the current International symbol of accessibility is not suitable, this is because the logo is of a wheelchair and not all disabilities involve people being in a wheelchair, which I agree. For many years I lived with an invisible disability, I was diagnosed with CFS in 1997 and it wasn’t until 2009 that I had to use a wheelchair, but this was because of knee problems.
I also know many people with a hidden disability and I know that many have been confronted after using a disabled toilet or parking space because they are not in a wheelchair and so don’t appear to be disabled.
However it is not as simple as changing the logo or adding extra logos to signs!
Lets look at a sign for an accessible toilet, currently as you know the logo is the International symbol of accessibility. We all instantly recognise it no matter what country we are in, there is no need for translation and that is what a good logo is meant to do, it instantly tells us what we need to know.
Now please correct me if I am wrong, Tesco has started to use these signs on the doors of the accessible toilets. It gives a nod to those people who need to use an accessible toilet, but are not in a wheelchair.
This serves the purpose; however, you have to be close to read what it says and the standard logo is still prominent. Many people would like to see the logo itself changed but I can’t see how this is possible?
Right now try to think of as many disabilities that you know of!
Now you see the issue!
I was discussing this on one of the social media platforms the other day, this time it involved a photo of a car parked on the pavement and behind it was the outline of a mobility scooter. It was launched by a council to highlight the problem of this type of ignorant parking behaviour.
Again there was likely to be the usual comments of “this photo is unfair”, because it obviously didn’t show someone who is blind, someone on crutches etc, etc, etc…..
I was told basically that my opinion was marred by the fact that I am in a wheelchair and so I couldn’t see the issue from the view of someone with a disability that didn’t involve a wheelchair, even when I explained that for many years I lived with an invisible disability!
We can choose to pick holes in everything, we can never include everyone in every advertisement, campaign or logo and I think that we now have the problem of people looking for problems.
The international symbol of accessibility isn’t there just to show this facility or access is just for wheelchair users, it just shows that the facility is suitable for people with a disability, it has worked for many years perfectly well and does what it is designed to do.
We can argue that the symbol doesn’t show an amputee, the symbol doesn’t show a recumbent wheelchair, it doesn’t show someone who uses crutches, a walking stick, walking frame, doesn’t use an aid but struggles to walk far, has chronic fatigue, is blind, has a chronic bowel condition and you get the idea.
Are we just looking for problems?
Of course this issue even goes outside of the disabled community, people are picking apart everything and taking to social media to cry out about the unfairness of this and that and it is getting out of control.
I know this post won’t be popular but it is my opinion and if you believe in fairness in life? ……