Sarnia has committed to using new, dynamic accessibility symbols.
While signage with the standard accessibility symbol will not be changed, any new painting or signage will use the dynamic symbol, according to Dale Mosley, Sarnia’s accessibility coordinator.
Mosley said the new symbol will be used for on-street paintings and signage for accessible washrooms and other accessible features around the city.
Upright signs common in parking lots, however, will not be changed because they are regulated by the provincial Highway Traffic Act, said Mosley.
The standard accessibility symbol, known as the Internation Symbol of Access (ISA), was designed by Danish student Susanne Koefoed in 1968.
The dynamic symbol is often called the Modified ISA.
The new symbol raises awareness for accessibility issues and highlights the fact that one can be active despite a disability, Mosley said.
Mosley said last fall the city’s accessibility advisory committee was approached by The Forward Movement, an accessibility advocacy group who campaigns for the use of dynamic accessibility symbols.
“The new image shows movement, a symbolic action that emphasizes differing abilities, and this reframes the way society views and interacts with persons with a disability,” according to The Forward Movement website. “The change also serves as a medium to have conversations about accessibility and disability rights in the province.”
Steps have been taken by Guelph, Stratford, Waterloo, and Wellington to adopt the modified ISA and in the U.S., it is used in Connecticut and New York State.
The change was approved at Sarnia’s January 15 council meeting.
We have adopted the dynamic #accessibility symbol!
What is it? The new design shows a person in a wheel chair leaning forward, with arms raised in the air as to power their chair forward. pic.twitter.com/MbJpStGzsB
— City of Sarnia (@Sarnia_Ontario) January 20, 2018