Arguing the now 45 year old symbol for accessiblity is neither inclusive nor welcoming, last week the Honorourable David C. Onley, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario joined OCAD University to launch Reimagining Accessibility, an international student design challenge to replace the traditional wheelchair sign with a more encompassing and inclusive symbol (or symbols) of accessibility.
Onley, himself in a motorized scooter, challenged post-secondary students to “turbo-charge blue wheelie into the 21st century” by designing a symbol that lets people know “no matter your access needs, you are welcome here”.
Hear hear I agree! That stationary stick figure just doesn’t reflect the lives and dreams of the many people I’ve met with disabilities. We can do better, the possibilities are endless, and I can’t wait to see what the students come up with!
The competition is open from now until October 25. Winners will be announced on November 1 in the presence of Her Royal Highness, the Countess of Wessex, who will be visiting Ontario. The final designs will be presented to the International Standards Organization for consideration.
A first prize of $5,000 will be awarded, along with two honourable mentions of $2,500 each.
Now here’s a COOL design for those HOT summer days! Mobi-mats are lightweight, durable, portable mats that can be rolled out onto sandy beaches making them accessible to wheelchairs, walkers, canes and strollers.
Mobi-mats in action at Rockaway Beach NYC
These mats are being used on beaches around the world including Rockaway Beach in New York and beaches in Rio de Janeiro.
Recently, Wasaga Beach just outside of Toronto purchased some mobi-mats making their beach one of the most accessible in the province. CBC Metro Morning interviewed town clerk Twyla Nicholson about the town councils decision to purchase the mats, and the impact its having on residents and visitors to the beach.
Simcoe-Grey MP Kellie Leitch pushes Frank Nunnaro, Wasaga Beach resident and Accessibility Advisory Committee member, down the new Mobi-mats towards the water at the ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday, July 11, 2013
Wei Yen hand stitched her wheelchair cover and added many other accessories that make her mobility device more functional AND fun. Check out her foot pedal horn!
The recent debate about stroller crowding on the TTC in Toronto highlights ongoing problems with both the TTC AND with US. This is what I see needs doing:
1. Increase the capacity of the system
2. Improve the design of transit vehicles
3. Be nicer!
The TTC is working on the first two – the third is up to us!
An accessible, efficient, and FRIENDLY public transportation system is a sign of a great city. Let’s figure this out TO!
StopGap’s Community Ramp Project
Now these guys have it right. Design is SO often ageist or ableist… BUT when it’s smart AND sexy everyone wants it! Now THAT’s COOL!
Listen to the interview on CBC with Matt Galloway to learn more about this amazing project and the guys behind it!