Accessibility logo – a new way of viewing accessibility?

The blue square with a white figure in a wheelchair is a familiar image to all of us.  gi

Symbolizing accessibility for disabled people. Initially designed in 1968 (47 years ago) it has over the years been adapted for multiple impairments, modernized and plastered internationally.  Am surprised it doesn’t come up as one of the top symbols in the world on Google.

A new symbol of accessibility came about earlier in 2015 from the UN.

un-accessibility-logoA circle with a symmetrical figure in the middle.  The four blue dots represent the feet and hands of the person on the circle itself so it appears that the person is standing with their arms stretched out.  A larger blue dot provides the head itself within the circle.  It looks a bit like a person standing or rolling in a hoola hoop ready to roll! Interestingly, the blue matches the blue used in UN logo.

The image is to symbolize a ‘harmony between humans in society’ with the ‘universal human figure with open arms symbolizing inclusion for people of all abilities, everywhere’.  Incorporating ‘hope and equal access for all’ It is intended to show accessibility of services, information, communication technology as well as physical access.   Much broader than the original symbol which focused on physical access with the wheelchair.

I guess it sets a challenge for all of us in all areas of our work.  Are we incorporating the principles of inclusion in all our work?  For all people?  When we seek equal access for all do we recognise which ‘hopes’ are being realized?  That’s the really exciting part!   I like to think that the disability community, through a new way of viewing accessibility will actually be the ones leading the way on creating harmony between humans in society.  Equal access for all means just that, all of us throughout our lives!

Created by the Graphic Design Unit in the UN Department of Public Information from the UN specifically in relation to Accessibility Guidelines for United Nations websites.  It’s important to note that civil society including organisations of persons with disabilities were included in the process of developing this logo.

New Zealand as a village of 100 people – the missing villagers

‘New Zealand as a village of 100 people’ is a fascinating poster produced by Statistics NZ.   It shows the breakdown of New Zealand’s society as if we are a village of 100 people using information about our population as gathered for the 2013 Census.   The quirky pictures certainly makes this an eye-catching must read poster.

I am one of the 51% female villagers, one of the 70 born in New Zealand, again one of the 70 of European descent. My point of difference is that I am amongst the 7 people who use another language – this includes using New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). Fabulous to have NZSL recognised here as a language after all it is one of NZ’s official languages.

Something was missing. A feeling of discomfort came over me. That something was me and the other 24% of all New Zealanders who experience disability – important data collected in the very same census.

Yet we were not included in the village of 100 people.

In a village of 100 people 24 will experience disability.   A large minority group in NZ yet not acknowledged as members of the village.

Let’s recognise these 24 citizens in New Zealand’s village. This is what ENNOBLE intends to do.