What is Accessibility?

The International Symbol of Accessibility, that white stick figure in a wheel chair on a blue background, was developed in 1969. It was borne of a contest held by the International Commission on Technology and Accessibility, which was won by Susanne Kofoed of Copenhagen, Denmark. Kofoed’s original design didn’t include a head (probably because she was trying to keep the figure unisex) so it wasn’t used right away; but once the head was added, it became quite popular.

The Commission chose the blue background simply because it provided a nice contrast with the white stick figure, making the symbol easily visible on all kinds of surfaces. That said, the little stick figure might change some time in the future, as some parties are arguing that not all disabled people use a wheel chair and the figure needs to be more representative of other disabilities.

This is a good start for disability representation and wheelchair accessibility. I hope the little stick figure changes in the near future so that it can change our worldview on medical conditions and the general outlook on life for people with different exceptionalities.


About Daniella-Jade Lowe

Hello, My name is Daniella Jade Lowe. I am a PURSUN researcher and I am working on marketing myself as an Accessibility Consultant. Journalism and Politics are my passion. I have a BA degree in History and Politics. What type of disability do you have? At birth, I was diagnosed with Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus which are neurological conditions. As a result, I use a wheelchair for mobility. What is disability to you? The only disability is a bad attitude. I have a disability. It doesn’t completely define me; it just enhances me in a way which differentiates and strengthens me. My disability should be viewed as an ability: to see the world in a different way. I don’t really like the term because sometimes it indirectly implies someone is dysfunctional or helpless. The most important thing is to never make assumptions. Someone with a disability can be very, physically, fit and strong, highly intelligent and articulate. What has been your experience from the time you remember till now? - positive and negative experiences. My life as a wheelchair user has been generally okay. Wheelchair Accessibility is frustrating. I was teased a little in school. Other than that, life is great. How do you cope with: -daily activities - your disability, do you have times when you are down - people's reactions towards you. I have carers, a Social worker, District Nurses, a GP, and extended family in this country. I am also in contact with a local disability charity in Yorkshire. I also have a friendly landlord. How do you keep yourself motivated? I must stay organised and practice good time management. I also prioritise my plans. What is your word or advice - to those with disabilities? - to the society Don’t let people put you in a box. You have a voice, use it. 10. Tell us about your platforms if you have any- Blog: The View from Where I Sit Facebook: Daniella Jade Lowe Instagram: @daniellajadelowe/@theviewfromwheresitblog Thank you!