Originally designed in 1968, the International Symbol of Access (ISA) was a milestone in ADA history. It has since become a commonplace indicator of public environments where barriers such as steps and curbs have been removed, and as wayfinding signage for alternative routes in/out of facilities.
But the sterile, passive two-dimensional representation of “the handicapped” might soon be a thing of the past, replaced by a new icon to better represent those with disabilities.
Created by the Accessible Icon Project (the brain child of Gordon College professors), the accessible icon seeks to replace the old ISA, in an effort to change the perception of people with disabilities as “passive,” and offering an evolved and enlightened depiction of accessibility. The new icon moves the focus away from the wheelchair and to the person with disability.