Accessibility Café invites you to 'reimagine accessibility'

Accessibility Café invites you to 'reimagine accessibility'

January 6, 2014


By Craig Leroux, Senior Communications Officer

This week’s accessibility café will ask the Queen’s community to reimagine accessibility and think about redesigning the traditional wheelchair symbol.

The idea for the café came to Equity Advisor Heidi Penning in response to a student design challenge initiated by the Honourable David C. Onley, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, that asked students across Ontario and around the world to develop a new design for the International Symbol of Access.

International Symbol of Access

Although that competition didn’t produce a winning new design, replacing the familiar wheelchair icon is a priority for many people who see the image as exclusionary, says Ms. Penning.

“Many people think that the current symbol reflects assumptions and stereotypes, or a simplistic view of disability,” says Ms. Penning. “The goal of reimagining and redesigning the symbol is to arrive at a more inclusive representation of accessibility rather than disability.”

The accessible café is open to all and aims to get the Queen’s community to reflect on what the current International Symbol of Access Signifies for them and how it might be redesigned. It will also ask participants to think about accessibility at Queen’s.

“A lot has changed since the symbol was created in 1968. It’s time to reimagine accessibility,” says Ms. Penning

The Accessibility Café will take place on Wednesday, Jan. 8 at 11:30 am at Common Ground in the Queen’s Centre.

More about the Accessibility Café series

Visit the Accessibility Hub