PHILADELPHIA, May 9, 2019 – Councilwoman Cherelle Parker (9th District) was joined today by Mayor James Kenney and local advocates from the disability community to announce the City of Philadelphia’s adoption of a new icon for individuals with disabilities.
The Accessible Icon, launched in 2010 by artist and design researcher Sara Hendren and philosophy professor Brian Glenney, was designed as a way to portray individuals with disabilities in a new light. The icon does not just show a person sitting in a wheelchair, but is more dynamic and shows movement. The City joins a growing collection of states and cities adopting the Accessible Icon, including New York state, Connecticut, and, more recently, Wildwood, New Jersey.
“When we discuss inclusion, it not only applies to race and gender, but also to physical ability,” Parker said. “Philadelphia is truly a melting pot and we want to be welcoming to people of all nationalities, religions, lifestyles and abilities. While no logo is inclusive of all individuals with disabilities, this new icon makes clear that this community is multi-dimensional, mobile and independent.”
The City will immediately begin using the Accessible Icon on all public works projects. The first such project is two parking spaces at the One Parkway Building located at 1515 Arch Street. By July, every City Hall entrance will have this new icon displayed. City Council today also adopted a resolution introduced by Parker urging the City to utilize the Accessible Icon.
“This new icon represents exactly what our administration strives to do every day, which is to ensure that all Philadelphians have the opportunity to participate fully in the life of our city and in their communities regardless of their abilities,” said Mayor Kenney. “I am proud that Philadelphia will adopt the Accessible Icon on all new public works projects to create a Philadelphia that works for all.”
Several private and not-for-profit entities in the region such as Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia, MossRehab, Citizens Bank Park, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, University of the Sciences, and Inglis House already use the Accessible Icon.
“Einstein Healthcare Network and MossRehab are humbled by the response we have received from Councilwoman Parker and the City of Philadelphia to our request to make the new Accessible Icon the city-wide symbol for designating accessible parking spaces for persons with disabilities,” said MossRehab COO Thomas J. Smith. “When we first adopted the new icon network-wide in 2014, our patients expressed that the new symbol, with the head and body leaning forward and arms bent back over the wheels showing the user of the wheelchair in motion, depicted to them the mobility, independence and strength that they possess. Those feelings will now be experienced by countless others with disabilities who live in or visit Philadelphia.”
“I applaud Einstein Healthcare Network and MossRehab for their advocacy and leadership on this issue,” Parker added, “and I commend Mayor Kenney and my Council colleagues for their commitment to a more inclusive Philadelphia.”
Councilwoman Cherelle L. Parker represents the 9th District, which includes East Mt. Airy, West Oak Lane, East Oak Lane, Lawncrest, Burholme, Olney and parts of Oxford Circle and Logan. She is Chair of Council’s Committee on Labor and Civil Service and Vice Chair of Council’s Committee on Commerce and Economic Development.