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softer design re–thinking the ISA

a critcal design essay by nathan levasseur


section titles pace setting and concerns 3 intro and background 5 ISA as pictogram and icon 7

why re-structure the ISA? 9 icon construction 9 social and cultural problems 11 comparison of iconography 14 re-designing the ISA 19 conclusion 23

I would like to express my utmost gratitude to Brett Willes, Emily Dutton, Sean Bradley, Sandra Reid, Bria Said and Emilia Nielsen. Softer Design is set in Univers Light

10 /13 pt.


pace setting and concerns It is important to acknowledge that I occupy and write from a certain point of privilege—I benefit from whiteness, male identity constructs, and financial stability. It is also significant to note that I do not identify as disabled. Secondly, I believe there is a certain amount of privilege when one works and studies within the discourse of design—this extends over multiple disciplines including: graphic, architectural, and environmental. Since designers are often in positions of power, in the creation of social and physical space; iconography, symbols, advertisement—it seems quite privileged that many programs allow students the flexibility to avoid studying or engaging with critical theory that challenges normative structures. Particularly relevant to this paper, I am thinking about the permission afforded to design students to side step queer theory, disability theory, and colonial theory. In this work I write from the position of a designer, thus speaking more directly to a design audience(s). What this means is, I am interested in enacting a design discourse that practices and encourages sensitivity, collaboration, concept, research and transparency. A discourse of analysis that looks at the impacts of design on all groups of people and incorporates those process’ into the work. However, I merely scratch the surface on deeply complex issues rooted in systems of oppression.

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I will begin by offering a brief analysis on the production of meaning and symbols, focusing specifically on the International Symbol of Accessibility ( ISA ), also known as, the Wheelchair Symbol. I offer a brief introduction and background of the symbol, its creation and frame the ISA as an icon and pictogram. Doing so offers a foundation for understanding the process behind its design and provides a framework for critique. From there I meticulously analyze the icon discussing its strengths and weakness’ ultimately coming to the conclusion that the current manifestation is insufficient, problematic and requires rethinking / re-structuring. Finally, I look at icons that have been submitted as alternatives to the current standard. While many of these re-works are successful insofar as they enact a re-shaping of a problematic discourse, I explore either a more abstract international standard or the integration of multiple icons to represent the broad spectrum of disability and accessibility. Ultimatley, concluding the most desirable outcome would dissolve social and physical segregation in favour of space that is designed for all kinds of people. However, we have to take into account the weight of symbols and structures embedded in normative modes of history, thinking and movement.


intro and background

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In the 1960s building (re)constructions that reduced barriers were beginning to be noted with a variety of symbols. The inconsistency of differing symbols was cause for confusion. As such, the ISA (figure 1) was designed in 1968 by Danish design student, Susanna Koefoed, at the request of Rehabilitation International’s ( RI ) International Commission on Technology and Accessibility.1

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The goal of the ISA was to create an internationally recognized symbol that would designate access to facilities specifically for people using wheelchairs, the symbol has since evolved to represent disabilities as a whole. Some of the design considerations include: the symbol had to be readily identifiable from a reasonable distance, had to be self-descriptive, simple, practical, and aesthetically designed with no secondary meaning.2 Before Koefoed’s design was approved a modification was made—the addition of a circle to the top of the figure to suggest a human body and give the icon more personhood (figure 2). After the revision was made the symbol was approved by the United Nations and the International Standards Organization ( ISO ) and went into production. The symbol is now one of the top 5 most recognizable icons worldwide. A New Zealand ISA usage package ( 2007) states ‘[t]he symbol is not only for people in wheelchairs but represents anyone with a disability’ 3 —shifting the icon into an umbrella representation of disability.

1. I was unable to find indepth information on Koefoed and her process in the creation of the symbol. It is not clear if Koefoed consulted with person(s) who identify as disabled. However, the book Nothing About Us Without Us by James Charlton speaks briefly about this— symbols and iconography are often created by persons that have insufficient experience or knowledge about disability or access needs. 2. Ben-Moshe, Liat and Powell, Justin J.W, “Sign of our times? Re-vis(it)ing the International Symbol of Access,” in Disability and Society Vol 22, No. 5, pp. 489–505. (Routledge, 2007), 491. 3. Barrier Free New Zealand, Depatment of Building and Housing, 2007, 1–8.

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Some applications of the icon include: marking a parking space for vehicles for person(s) with disabilities, public lavatory facilities designed for wheelchair use, indicating accessible train stations or vehicles and accessible transit routes. The New Zealand usage package gives us tangible evidence of an ideological shift in the meaning of the symbol which represents the starting point for the necessity for re-design. Since the symbol no longer speaks to only wheelchair users—its current manifestation becomes illegible and inappropriate. In this ideological shift a complex problems arises, namely, representing a large and diverse group of people with a single symbol. This problem sets pace and upholds a slew of problems directly related to the design of the symbol and its relation to space. I will discuss these problems more concisely later on.


ISA as icon and pictogram

Iconography gives weight and legitimacy to space through organization and structure. Take for example an iconographical system of a country. Much of the legitimacy is often constituted from the complexity and readability of said system. Official logos that sit on military and service vehicles, official documents, flags, advertisements, digitally and in-print. Consistency plays a major role in the readability and acceptance of a system. It is interesting to think about the power of the United States vs. Northern Ireland. On one hand there is a complete recognizable visual system and in the other this is absent. This phenomenon exists across branding, corporate identities, and educational Institutions. All pay designers to generate strong consistent visual systems, which gives space social and cultural connotations. James Charlton in Nothing About Us Without Us writes, ‘there are numerous ways students are controlled and taught: labeling, symbols, signs, structure, curricula, testing ‘.4 Charlton echoes the sentiment that symbols and signs are highly influential and in this case the use of symbols to create segregated space and denote otherness. Symbols are unrecognizable graphic marks until loaded with meaning—meaning often produced by hegemonic discourses, excluding a range of identities and experiences.

4. Charlton, James I, Nothing About Us Without Us. (California: University of California Press, 2000).

In graphic terms the ISA operates as both a pictogram and an icon, as suggested by Liat Ben-Moshe and Justin J.W. Powell in their essay Sign of our times? Revist(it)ing the International Symbol of Access.

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A pictogram is simply a pictorial representation of a word or a phrase. For example, a picture of a cup of coffee often indicates a coffee shop. Pictograms are especially useful in culturally diverse, multilingual locations because they do not rely on written language, opening possibilities for people with limited literacy or numeracy skills to understand/read them...5 An icon is an image, picture or representation, especially a likeness that stands for an object or subject by directly representing or signifying it or by analogy. The ISA is thus both a pictogram and an icon. Situating the ISA within these frameworks helps us understand the process behind its creation and design and creates point in which to critique and reveal flaws. We can understand the ISA’s strength as a pictogram—namely it is important that people who need assistance, or face structural barriers, can identify places that will be sensitive to their needs/situation as quickly as possible. But because systems and iconography have so much social and cultural weight it is of utmost importance that the icon does not alienate, oppress or uphold discourses that cause more harm than help. In the case of the ISA , the current symbol causes more harm and confusion than care or aid.

5. Ben-Moshe, Liat and Powell, Justin J.W, “Sign of our times? Re-vis(it)ing the International Symbol of Access,” in Disability and Society Vol 22, No. 5, pp. 489–505. (Routledge, 2007), 490.


why re-structure the ISA? There have been numerous concerns raised regarding the effectiveness of the ISA —I will highlight the most pervasive critiques. The main concerns revolve around the construction of the icon itself, the insufficiency of representation of a broad group of persons, the creation of discourses of exclusion, and many argue that it represents an idea of disability just as much as access. icon construction Graphically the logo is made up of shapes which come together to represent a rigid figure in a passive position. The figure is not liberated by the wheelchair instead rendered motionless in space; the focus is therefore not on the agency of the figure using the chair but the figure as an object stricken to the chair. Its rectilinear geometry does not show the body moving through space, like the rest of the standard isotype icons you see in public space—i.e. walking symbol. 6 In general, depictions of people have rounded limbs, mimicking the look of human bodies—this is a stark contrast to the rigidness of the ISA .

6. Hendren, Sara. “The Accesible Icon Project,” www.accessibleicon.org. 7. Morris, Jenny. “Feminism, Gender and Disability”. Presentaion at seminar in Sydney, Australia, 1998.

Furthermore, Jenny Morris critiques the idea that the typical disabled person is a young man in a wheelchair, who is fit, never ill and whose only need is a physically accessible environment. 7 So not only does the symbol exclude disabilities that exist outside of wheelchair use, it excludes bodies and users of wheelchairs that do not fit into the normative ideal body standard.

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social and cultural problems The ISA is a reductive symbol that excludes the broad range of disabilities, and reinforces social stigma by using an image that only accounts for physical disabilities which limits the development of a concept of disability that includes its many broad and specific nuances and embodiments 8.. This problem was acknowledged in 1978 by Rehabilitation International which stated, the symbol inadequately encompassed a broad range of embodiments. 9 With the ISA the focus is wheelchairs users yet wheelchair users only account for 10% of persons with disabilities.10 Dan Wilkens writes, ‘90% of 55 million Americans. We’re talking about 49.5 million people for whom the design is not really representative’.11 However, the ISA continues to remain unchanged. The retention of the ISA speaks to its power as an integrated and sociologically know icon—once an icon has weight it is difficult to restructure its meaning. This speaks to a larger design problem, one concerned with the production of symbols, sensitivity and intent. Here we see ‘staying– power’ is a very real aspect of symbol design and is especially relevant in this case. ‘Staying -power’ should drive designers to embrace design discourse(s) with research and sensitivity at the forefront. Another problem with the ISA is the idea of separation. The symbol often directs person(s) to separate / special areas—drawing attention to differentiation which generates a discourse of exclusion and difference. The ISA creates concrete and clear boundaries between disabled and non-disabled.

8. Jones, Chelsea, “For Them Not Us”, How Ableist Interpretations of the International Symbol of Access Make Disability in Critical Disability Discourse (Ryerson University, 2012), 77. 9. Jones, Chelsea, “For Them Not Us”, How Ableist Interpretations of the International Symbol of Access Make Disability in Critical Disability Discourse (Ryerson University, 2012), 74. 10. Wilkens, Dan, “Thoughts on the International Access Symbol,” The Nth Degree, http://www.thenthdegree.com/ intacces.asp. 11. Wilkens, Dan, “Thoughts on the International Access Symbol,” The Nth Degree, http://www.thenthdegree.com/ intacces.asp.

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Rob Imrie in Disability and the City: International Perspectives, states, ‘universal design architects and designer are guilty of constructing spaces and iconography that prioritizes the dominant values of the community—rather than applications that would be applicable to all’.12 This speaks at scale to larger problems I address in this work, the ISA tends to promote the construction of segregated space rather than the expansion of socially and physically inclusive spaces. As Imrie suggests, the ideal is a designed space/symbol that looks to address all needs instead of creating separation. Imrie draws attention to the unnecessary construction of ‘regular’ and ‘special’ categories. Good design should not benefit one group over another on the basis of dominance. As I mentioned earlier, the ISA it too narrow as it fails to capture the breadth of users, relates disability to physicality, and erases non-visible disabilities—meaning that in certain cases persons who need to use those spaces but do not have wheelchairs are policed. This can include but is not limited to: cane users, dog users, sign language users, people with hidden disabilities, brain injuries, cognitive and developmental impairments, mental illnesses—this is just to name a few. Caroline Cardus states ‘if no other impairments are included in the sign there’s a subliminal message that if it’s all right for wheelchair users then everyone else can just struggle along—and that’s massively unhelpful’.13

12. Imrie, R, Disability and the city: international perspectives (London, P. Chapman, 1996). 13. Cardus, Caroline, “Is it time for a new wheelchair access icon?”, www.bbc.com, http:// www.bbc.com/news/blogsouch-24149316.


This is deeply problematic. Not only is it problematic that certain people are only able to use specific spaces but the policing of that space adds a second layer of separation. Therefore, people who identify as disabled but do not use chairs have no space—this is a direct result of the design of the ISA , a direct result of unthoughtful design. Lastly, the symbol does not actually show accessibility in any way, it simply draws attention to the user and the wheelchair. As discussed earlier the symbol represents separated space—which clearly draws attention to difference. The ISA becomes more separation and disability than access. Liat Ben-Moshe and Justin J.W. Powell write ‘if a ramp were added into the icon it would show a change in space’.14 Small details go a long way—even just the addition of movement or a representation of space moves the icon from representing a rigid passive figure to a more active user.

14. Ben-Moshe, Liat and Powell, Justin J.W, “Sign of our times? Re-vis(it)ing the International Symbol of Access,” in Disability and Society Vol 22, No. 5, pp. 489–505. (Routledge, 2007), 502.

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comparison of iconography I want to make a comparison of iconography, namely looking at three other icons in order to strengthen our understanding of the ISA as a design artifact, show the flexibility of meaning and reveal real process’ of change and restructuring. I believe this is vital as it situates the ISA within a tangible framework of change. In his 1986 book, Marxism and the Philosophy of Language, Valentin Voloshinov writes ‘anything holds the possibility to become a sign, it is assigned social meaning, as signs are social con-structs.15 This is an important distinction— if anything holds the possibility to become a sign then there should be no reason why a current sign cannot be re-structured. This quote reveals that there are no intrinsic qualities in the construction of an icon—meaning that we can assign meaning to a group of shapes, which then hold the potential to become culturally and socially relevant. In the case of the ISA it is therefore plausible that the icon could have been any number shapes in any number of configurations, so long as those shapes were identified as a symbol of access. The biohazard symbol for example, designed by Charles Baldwin in 1966, in the design of the symbol Baldwin writes ‘we wanted something that was memorable but meaningless, so we could educate people as to what it means’.16 Much like the ISA the biohazard symbol had to be striking in form to draw attention immediately, it had to be unique, quickly recognizable, easily recalled and acceptable to groups of varying ethnic background. It is interesting how the ISA and the biohazard have very similar, almost identical design criteria but are yet so disparate.

15. Voloshinov, V. N. (1986). The study of ideologies and philosophy of language. Marxism and the philosophy of language (Matejka, L. & Titunik, I.R. Trans.). (pp. 9–16). Cambridge: Harvard University Press. 12. 16. Baldwin, Charles, (Science, 1967). http://www.iconglobe. net/blog/2011/01/07/biohazard-symbol-history/.


This comparison offers an interesting point of access. I think it is quite clear that the biohazard symbol is highly abstract yet it functions on a completely reliable and efficient level. It seems completely probable that an accessibility symbol could have been designed within a similar aesthetic field as the biohazard symbol—say a certain configuration of shapes of a specific colour—we already recognize the blue from the ISA and both yellow and red have come to represent specifics meanings. Utilizing a more abstracted icon would reduce at least some of the negative implications regarding social and cultural exclusions of disabled person(s) and there would be no discussion of the ISA representing disability as immobilizing simply because there would be no bodily representation, it would erase the stigma that disability only has physical manifestations. Icons and symbols are subject to change over time as they become less relevant or appropriate. Jen and Ken Visocky O’Grady discuss these changes in their text, The Information Design Handbook. The example they use is the telephone symbol. It is based on the literal depiction of a rotary dial phone—which has not been in production for 20 years. This icon may not properly communicate the idea of a telephone to future generations who have never encountered the original artifact. They write ‘[c]ommunication is never static, information designers must earnestly consider how cultural and contextual associations will affect the end user’s interpretations of messages’.17

17. Visocky O’Grady, Jen and Ken, The Information Design Handbook. ( HOW Books, 2008 ).

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At the forefront the ISA is about readability and communication, we want people to identify the icon so that their needs can be met. There are certainly a number of problems concerning the readability of the icon. Since the icon only depicts a wheelchair some users think these spaces are only for those who use wheelchairs—yet the symbol stands as a representation of disability as a whole. These spaces can be used for people with invisible impairments such as joint pain, asthma or neuro-diversity. Furthermore, Wheelchairs are not necessarily used cross culturally—wheelchair use is mostly a Western reading of ability/disability. In her paper For Them Not Us, Chelsea Jones, writes, ‘signs are useless without interpretation’.18 A symbol becomes problematic when the narratives it creates does not align with the real life narratives of person(s) with disabilities. The icon does not function at the level it is acclaimed to. At some point there was a hegemonic assumption that a wheelchair was the strongest representation of mobility assistance. This speaks directly to the issues raised by Charlton in Nothing About Us Without Us and is the foundation of many of the concerns being brought to light now. Many icons have changed or are scrutinized on the basis of their (in)appropriateness and how we relate to meaning over time. If there is a call to have an icon changed it is usually for good reason. Typically the call to change an icon is based in the fact that it hurts the community that it represents.

18. Jones, Chelsea, “For Them Not Us”, How Ableist Interpretations of the International Symbol of Access Make Disability in Critical Disability Discourse (Ryerson University, 2012), 71.


This is apparent in the ideology of the ISA but is also very pervasive in sport symbols including: the Washington R**S****, the Chicago Blackhawks, and the Edmonton Eskimos. I will focus on the Washington R** S**** symbol because there is real evidence of change and tangible re-structuring solutions. The use of inaccurate representations and the flattening of complex experiences into one-dimensional representations is harmful. The main parallel between these two icons or systems of representation is the strong evidence regarding negative impact of inaccuracy. As I discussed earlier the ISA creates a specific and limiting discourse with how society relates and interacts with persons who are disabled, much like the Washington R** S**** logo. It is worth noting that inaccurate representations of Indigenous person(s) is a complex issue rooted in colonialism, dominance and oppression that spans over many mediums including symbols, posters, cartoons and film. Re-structuring these harmful representations is an on-going and current process.There is almost constant call for the football organization to change its name (from folks varying social and cultural backgrounds), there are multiple online petitions, tons of articles and essays, in situ protests and cross nation support, yet there is still resistance. The parallels between Washington’s logo and the ISA cannot be ignored. In this very essay I mention various sources that call attention to the problems of the ISA . There are many cases of active movement to change the symbol, 17


which include re-designed logos, essays and articles, conferences, community meetings, and online petitions. The support of change extends across many social and cultural backgrounds. Resistance to change in these instances represents a strain of design that places power, capitalism and Western sociological ideology above real and continued instances of hurt, that uphold and reinforce prejudice and exclusion.


re-designing the ISA There seem to be two distinct fields of thought concerning the re-working of the ISA . The first calls into question the need for more than one single image to represent multiple iterations of disability, the international symbols for blindness and deafness are good examples. The second is for the re-working of an internationally recognized symbol, one that does not alienate and uphold harmful stereotypes. There have been many re-designed solutions in attempts to dissolve some of the problems inherent in the current manifestation of the ISA . I will discuss the work of Daniel Wilkens, Microsoft and Sara Hendren. In 2004 Dan Wilkens proposed the ISA be changed to a ‘big bold capital “A”’19, stylishly set in Helvetica, using the same white and blue from the original ISA . Wilkens makes a lot of strong points in the rational for his re-design, he wants to refocus the attention away from the human body. He writes, ‘the focus is always on the person with the disability. Folks with disabilities are always seen as the “problem”.’ The ‘A’ removes the body from the icon which would resolve a lot of the problems regarding bodily representation and exclusion. It also place more precedence on ‘Access’. However, Wilkens’ icon is ultimately still insufficient. Liat Ben-Moshe and Justin J.W. Powell write, ‘problems with this proposition include the confusion or even real physical danger of using letters that have different or even contrary meanings in different languages’.20 Furthermore, this re-design excludes languages and alphabets that do not use the ‘A’.

19. Ben-Moshe, Liat and Powell, Justin J.W, “Sign of our times? Re-vis(it)ing the International Symbol of Access,” in Disability and Society Vol 22, No. 5, pp. 489–505. (Routledge, 2007), 501. 20. Ben-Moshe, Liat and Powell, Justin J.W, “Sign of our times? Re-vis(it)ing the International Symbol of Access,” in Disability and Society Vol 22, No. 5, pp. 489–505. (Routledge, 2007), 502.

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Sara Hendren’s re-work functions as part of a larger project called the Accessible Icon Project. Hendren, along with her team, do a lot of great work. They consult with members within the disabled community, professors and researchers of disability theory, and graphic designers. Hendren bases her work in relation to the aesthetic of the ISO DOT 50, which are examples of standardized and in-use icons. Situating the work within accepted and regulated iconography gives it a greater chance of consideration for change. Hendren’s icon speaks to a lot of the problems concerning the representation of the human figure. Improvements include: the arm is pointing backward to suggest dynamic mobility, the head is forward to indicate forward motion and progress and the body is leaning forward to symbolize active status in navigating lived environments. The body is redesigned with the standards of ISO DOT namely, rounded limbs and organic ends. The icon has been praised by wheelchair users and disability rights advocates such as Brendan Hildreth, and appears in settings such as the U.S Department of the Treasury, Hospitals in Delhi, India and in MoMA’s permanent collection. The influence of this icon cannot be ignored and it certainly sets the tone for deconstruction of disability stigma which leads to the rethinking of the semiotic and linguistic construction of disability, moving people with disabilities away from the object position into the subjective position through critique. The icon also speaks to the idea of universality and addresses the goals of the original ISA : easy readability, simple, direct and reproducible.


While the icon is certainly a push in the right direction, specifically for wheelchair users and the undoing of a discourse of exclusion, I wonder if it is enough since it does not address the fact that the majority of disabilities are not mobile related? As suggested by Caroline Cardus, the retention of the wheelchair in the icon seems problematic. Is it possible to generate a symbol that has universal readability and pertains to a breadth of manifestations? Surely the biohazard symbol is a good indicator of probable success. Wilkens goes too far and Hendren stays too close. Unexpectedly, I found the Microsoft accessibility icon is relatively unproblematic. Microsoft has completely re-designed the accessibility icon; they have dropped the wheelchair in favour of combinations of circles and arrows. The icon still uses a similar colour scheme, which, for readability, seems to go a long way—at this point it seems probable that because most people are familiar with the ISA they then associate the blue and white with accessibility. With this icon there are no problems of representation, there is no exclusion on the basis physicality or invisibility, it is easily reproducible, simple, straightforward and readily identifiable. It avoids Western dominance and assertion of the wheelchair as the most legible symbol for disability, as well as the problems of relying on a Western alphabet.

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Microsoft’s access symbol exists in the world today so it is a good example of alternate working symbols of accessibility. The only problem this icon faces is ‘staying-power’ of the original ISA , as it stands the current ISA is more recognizable as a ‘symbol of access’ than Microsoft’s design. Since recognizability is such a large part of working symbols it is difficult to imagine this symbol replacing the ISA . As I mentioned earlier, another solution to the problems faced by the ISA would be the introduction of a wide array of symbols each pertaining to specific disabilities and situations. In Claiming Disability: Knowledge and Identity, Simi Linton suggest one can restructure the signs and symbols to create icons that apply to all kinds of people in order to promote inclusivity and highlight accessibility. For example, she writes, ‘putting a sign in Braille and in print the wall says please touch, alters the environment and suggests to sighted people that touch is an important means to access beauty, information and ideas’.21 This solution opens up discourses to represent a wider and richer account of experience. There are already applications of this in real space such as the International Symbol for Deafness and Blindness so the solution has solid probability. However it also seems likely that this sort of system could be cause for confusion in comparison to a single icon. Perhaps this solution more closely aligns with an actual discourse of disability in so far as it is broad and complex and has many different meanings—but the less complex and readable the better.

21. Linton, Simi, Claiming Disability: Knowledge and Identity (New York, New York University Press, 1998), 168.


conclusion Since it seems unlikely that the ISA will be re-structured, mostly because of its pervasiveness in Western social understanding, I argue for the eradication of the symbol in favour of more carefully designed space. This sentiment aligns closely with some of Rob Irmie’s theories. Irmie suggests a movement away from created icons that represent segregated space in favour of universal design that caters to the accessibility needs of all. Instead of designing with the dominant values of the community at the forefront we should pratice a more inclusive design process that includes a wide range of user experience and accessibility. What Irmie suggest is powerful and complex, and to me seems like the most appropriate discourse to pursue. However, this is very a large project that basically calls for the re-structuring of an entire design discourse—obviously this is not an overnight solution. However, with the aid of thinkers like Hendren, Linton, Cardus, Wilkens, Jen and Ken Viscky O’Grad we can continue to sharpen our discursive tools and slowly restructure and re-work harmful design discourses built on the foundation of exclusion and oppression.

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Baldwin, Charles, (Science, 1967). http://www. iconglobe.net/blog/2011/01/07/biohazard-symbol-history/. Barrier Free New Zealand, Depatment of Building and Housing, 2007, 1–8. Ben-Moshe, Liat and Powell, Justin J.W, “Sign of our times? Re-vis(it)ing the International Symbol of Access,” in Disability and Society Vol 22, No. 5, pp. 489–505, Routledge, 2007. Cardus, Caroline, “Is it time for a new wheelchair access icon?”, www.bbc.com, http://www.bbc. com/news/blogs-ouch-24149316. Charlton, James I, Nothing About Us Without Us, California: University of California Press, 2000. Hendren, Sara. “The Accesible Icon Project,” www.accessibleicon.org. Imrie, R, Disability and the city: international perspectives, London, P. Chapman, 1996. Jones, Chelsea, “For Them Not Us”, How Ableist Interpretations of the International Symbol of Access Make Disability in Critical Disability Discourse, Ryerson University, 2012. Linton, Simi, Claiming Disability: Knowledge and Identity, New York, New York University Press, 1998. Morris, Jenny. “Feminism, Gender and Disability”. Presentaion at seminar in Sydney, Australia, 1998. Visocky O’Grady, Jen and Ken, The Information Design Handbook, HOW Books, 2008. Voloshinov, V. N. (1986). The study of ideologies and philosophy of language. Marxism and the philosophy of language (Matejka, L. & Titunik, I.R. Trans.). (pp. 9–16). Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Wilkens, Dan, “Thoughts on the International Access Symbol,” The Nth Degree, http://www. thenthdegree.com/intacces.asp.


Softer Design  

A self–directed project that explores semiotics, normative design discourses and symbol creation, focusing specifically on the International...