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Sign of our times?: revis(it)ing the international symbol of access

By Liat Ben-Moshe and Justin J. W. Powell


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

Topics: HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Publisher: Routledge
Year: 2007
DOI identifier: 10.1080/09687590701427602
OAI identifier:
Provided by: LSE Research Online
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