The inclusive symbol of aCcess
The International Symbol of Access (the wheelchair icon) is the symbol most commonly associated with disability. But this design perpetuates a culture where only visible disabilities are legitimized. The disability community is an incredibly strong and diverse one that deserves to be celebrated. We created the Inclusive Symbol of Access to do just that.
Class / Portfolio 3
Role / Art Director & Designer
Year / 2018
Partner / Zantore Buoy
This icon places an emphasis on the individual. To acknowledge the autonomy of those with disabilities, the counters of the letterform use negative space to create the icon of a person. Its simplicity makes it usable for screen readers and the symbol will be accompanied by braille or auditory cues when applicable.
By rotating the new ISA, we were able to create a logo for the Americans with Disabilities Act, and help celebrate the activists who worked for years to make it a reality in response to centuries of unfair treatment toward people with disabilities, including the gruesome realities of institutionalization.
The new ISA will be integrated into society through signs, transit hubs, buttons for doors, and more. In addition, we will collaborate with artists who have disabilities to create vibrant parking murals that reflect the energetic nature of the community.
The symbol represents all forms of access: bathrooms, classrooms, and information kiosks represent more places the symbol will live.
Posters will reiterate the message of the campaign: that the community is united in its variety. They will also be downloadable as protest posters, social media posts, easily held signs or ones able to hang on the back of wheelchairs.
The icon’s redesign will be rolled out alongside an app called AccessAll. This app will provide users with visual or auditory cues to accessible features nearby. It will also contain links to helpful phone numbers, resources such as a “Know Your Rights,” and will feature a profile on a disability rights activist each month.