A Team of Academics Redesigns an Icon

New York City Embraces a College's New 'Handicapped' Symbol 1

M. Scott Brauer for The Chronicle

Studying public perceptions led Brian Glenney, an assistant professor of philosophy at Gordon College, to envision a new handicapped symbol now being adopted by New York City.

Parking lots, public bathrooms, and entry ramps all have that same familiar character. It's the blue-and-white stick figure in a wheelchair, leaning slightly backward in comfortable repose, on signs that mean "handicapped."

The image looks passive, even helpless. For years there have been scattered efforts to replace it with a more active representation of people with physical limitations.

That may finally happen, thanks to several years of pushing