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New Updated Handicapped Sign Set to Take Over New York City

New Handicapped Sign
Sara Hendren

The handicapped sign we all recognize is about to change.

The sign, which debuted in 1968, is receiving an update in New York City that will take place this summer.

Harvard graduate design student Sara Hendren and Brian Glenney, a professor at Gordon College in Massachusetts, spearheaded the effort to create the new sign.

Hendren said it was time for a change:

You’ll notice in the old international symbol of access, the posture of the figure is unnaturally erect in the chair. There’s something very mechanical about that….Ours is also leaning forward in the chair. There’s a clear sense of movement, self-navigation through the world.”

Hendren and Glenney drew attention to the cause by placing stickers with the new logo throughout Boston, which helped start a dialogue. Eventually, stickers made their way all over the US and Victor Calise, who oversees disability issues in New York, became a champion for the symbol.

Hendren says she hopes the new symbol will help, noting “We’ve certainly had people who say, ‘It’s just an image, and I’d rather you spend your time lobbying for other kinds of concrete changes.’ An icon, an image, a symbol, can be a really powerful kind of seed for much larger efforts.”

You can see the new sign below, along with the current one.

Handicapped Sign
Sara Hendren

Handicapped Sign


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