Redesigning The International Symbol of Access

The most popular representation of impairment and ease of access worldwide is the International Symbol of Access (ISA). In launching the competition for design, it was noted that, in spite of its worldwide use, this ISA ıs definitely an exclusionary sign that narrows down the range of impairment and ease of access to the order of a wheelchair.

The ISA today advises that access is all about being able to accommodate wheelchairs via ramps, lifts, and door openers. This sign has left out other disabled people who are not tied to the wheelchair but more about sign language, auditory announcements on public transportations, and others. The wheelchair has its limitations to represent people with disabilities.

It was just right to emphasize the limitations of the wheelchair (regardless of the best electric wheelchairs in the market) being the chosen symbol of accessibility. But what is the real representation of disability and what type of politics in disability icon is even acceptable?

Americans with Disabilities Act – International Symbols of Accessibility

Putting A Line Between The Normal And The disabled

By appointing spaces that wheelchair users can access, rather than spaces that wheelchairs cannot, ISA separates people with a disability from the world considered normal. When creating separate spaces, ISA makes sound people seem to need no access and neglects the way most people move between competence levels in the course of their lives.

If access is considered a problem for abnormal people, disability turns into a personal problem. Consequently, we have a tendency to disregard the ways people with disabilities participate in much wider social associations, including the use of sufficient health care and so as decent housing, lack of labor privileges, and contact with pollution. Placing a wheelchair sign on a bathroom door lowers the disability of the person sitting in a wheelchair, instead of tagging the impairment as fluid and environmental. A gesture is a lot easier than changing social relationships.

Improving The Normal

The revamp of the design targets the range of motion of the person in a wheelchair, contrary to the unmoving, stationary, and passive user of a wheelchair. By centering on the capabilities of the wheelchair user, putting an emphasis on the movement of the person, and placing the impaired person as the person in charge, the overhaul actively seeks to “recommend the active freedom of the person behind the wheelchair” and symbolize the person’s “active position of moving through the world.” This upgrade of the ISA would make the person, certainly not the wheelchair, the main objective, recommending that people are definitely more than their particular handicaps.

From this point, simply redesigning the ISA to make it more adaptable to various disabilities or even to encourage mobility for wheelchair users is not enough. Instead, we must work to remove the call for access signs. Given the large social projects for universal design, collective visits, and recognition of various manifestations, what will the world think of everyone? Handicapped people do not require better signs; what they (and we) need is actually a much better world.

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