What would the ideal disability symbol look like?

I was interested to read this article on Ouch! (BBC) recently. It talks about a new icon that American designers have come up with to replace the old wheelchair symbol. The new one certainly does seem more positive, and I much prefer it to the old one, but it doesn’t solve the problem of a universal disability symbol that covers all of us.

This may an unresolvable problem as the nature of disability and impairment is so very diverse. From someone with Down Syndrome, to a war veteran with amputated limbs, to someone with Tourette’s syndrome, to someone with visual impairment, to someone on the autistic spectrum – how could all that be summed up in just one image?

This is an image I’m increasingly seeing now, and it is more inclusive, but still only tells a small part of the story.

I don’t know what the answer is, but it’s a question I think worth asking, because we need to promote the idea that disability covers so many impairments. And that’s before we even start thinking about medical or social models, of course!

What do you think?

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