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The Journal Gazette

Wednesday, November 30, 2016 10:01 pm

Disability symbol ready for a change

Visit Turnstone’s Plassman Athletic Center and you’ll see why advocates for people with disabilities are pushing for a change in the outdated symbol for disability access.

The wheelchair user depicted in the 1968 design looks nothing like the athletes you’ll see at Turnstone, where people with disabilities – including Paralympians – work out and compete in sports and activities of all types. 

The realization that symbols matter prompted Boston artist Sara Hendren to change what’s known as the International Symbol of Access. Since she started more than a decade ago, cities, states, universities, individual businesses and organizations have adopted the new design, which depicts an active wheelchair user.

Now the initiative has come to Indiana, where Old National Bank’s Abilities First Associate Resource Group is urging everyone to sign an online petition to "Change the sign, change the attitude." The initiative asks Indiana lawmakers to adopt the new logo for use where the symbol is added or replaced. You can read it and sign at