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See detailInternational Symbol of Access
Ben-Moshe, Liat; Powell, Justin J W UL

in Burch, Susan (Ed.) Encyclopedia of American Disability History (2009)

The International Symbol of Access (ISA), when integrated into signage, is meant to designate spaces and facilities made accessible to persons who otherwise would face barriers to their mobility. Since ... [more ▼]

The International Symbol of Access (ISA), when integrated into signage, is meant to designate spaces and facilities made accessible to persons who otherwise would face barriers to their mobility. Since 1969, when this symbol was chosen and defined as the ISA, it has become ubiquitous throughout the world. Attempting to communicate issues of physical access, the (wheelchair) mobility symbol—and related access symbols for vision, hearing, and information—have become among the most widely recognized disability representations. In addition to encounters with disabled individuals themselves, these symbols provide daily interactions with the issues of accessibility and disability. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Icons of Access: From Exclusion to Inclusion
Powell, Justin J W UL; Ben-Moshe, Liat

Article for general public (2009)

When integrated into signage, the international symbol of accessibility designates accessible spaces and facilities. In just a few decades, this icon has become ubiquitous throughout the world, now seen ... [more ▼]

When integrated into signage, the international symbol of accessibility designates accessible spaces and facilities. In just a few decades, this icon has become ubiquitous throughout the world, now seen in nearly every airport, parking lot and public space. The diverse local interpretations of the icon mirror the shift from exclusion to inclusion of disabled people in the human rights revolution witnessed since the end of WWII. The traditional icon displays a figure and a real life object. In so doing, the access icon unwittingly creates a cyborg (see Haraway 1991): the wheelchair and its human user become one. Paradoxically, this global icon refers simultaneously to disability, and its ameliorating factor, accessibility. Only recently has a new type of access icon developed, dissolving the cyborg as it features an active rider—asserting the primacy of personhood and participation. The (wheelchair) mobility icon—and related icons for vision, hearing, and information access—have become among the most widely recognised representations of disability. The icons attest to early attempts to support wayfinding and communicate issues of physical access to places. Alongside disabled individuals themselves, these icons provide daily interactions with issues of accessibility and disability. In fact, in many countries, this icon is the most commonplace visual representation of disability, becoming virtually synonymous with it. Thus, its metaphorical importance far exceeds the marking of accessible spaces. [less ▲]

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See detailSign of our Times? Revis(it)ing the International Symbol of Access
Ben-Moshe, Liat; Powell, Justin J W UL

in Disability & Society (2007), 22(5), 489-505

The International Symbol of Access (ISA), used in a variety of specific locations to represent purposely facilitated access, has become ubiquitous throughout the world within just a few decades. Found ... [more ▼]

The International Symbol of Access (ISA), used in a variety of specific locations to represent purposely facilitated access, has become ubiquitous throughout the world within just a few decades. Found wherever people move in physical space and needing to navigate environmental barriers, this symbol is among the most widely recognized representations of disability. While it provides daily interactions with issues of accessibility and disability, its purposes and design in different cultural contexts are neither obvious nor uncontested. We sketch the origin, goals and critiques of this prominent symbol and discuss its functions, from way showing to identity construction and advocacy/activism. Finally, we examine current proposals for alternative symbols. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 101 (3 UL)