The universal “handicapped parking” symbol is outdated. Let’s fix that.

It’s time to update the standardized disability access sign used across the country.

Since it was introduced in the late 1960s, the handicapped access symbol has been invaluable to making parking areas and other public spaces more accessible to people with disabilities. But similar to language such as “wheelchair bound,” the stereotypes it embodies are outdated for this day and age—especially in light of the independence and mobility that many wheelchair users now enjoy. Remember, culture can beat strategy.

Here’s the proposed new sign from the Accessible Icon Project, which reflects a more positive portrayal that we should help promote as a society:


The state of New York was first to adopt the new sign, and Connecticut is close to following suit. The remaining states should as well, along with the federal government in updating American Disabilities Act (ACA) standards that use the previous symbol. For more information, see The Accessible Icon Project and “There’s a movement underway to update the universal symbol for disability access,” Quartz.