Photo: Bill Walker
Bill Walker MPP Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound

Bill Walker MPP

Media Release:

Media Release: image

For Immediate Release
September 13, 2018

MPP Walker’s motion to adopt the Dynamic Accessibility Symbol passes in the Legislature

QUEEN’S PARK – Ontario MPPs have voted in support of Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound MPP Bill Walker’s motion to adopt the Dynamic Accessibility Symbol. The updated design was championed by accessibility advocates in Ontario, including The Forward Movement.

“The intent is to recognize that people with disabilities are engaged and to stop associating disabilities with the image of a stationary person in a wheelchair,” said MPP Walker. “The new dynamic sign puts emphasis on a person in motion, leaning forward and moving ahead with wheels spinning. This is in contrast to the static wheelchair representation created 40 years ago. It’s time to reflect the new reality.”

MPP Walker said the re-imaged symbol reflects the active role that people with disabilities can play in society and it re-frames the conversation from disability to ability.

He said he learned about the efforts to bring the modernized icon of accessibility from the co-founders of the Forward Movement, Dylan Itzikowitz and Jonathan Silver.

“Dylan’s personal story was very inspiring. He had actually had an accident and was suddenly made wheelchair-reliant after he was hit by a drunk driver in North York. Dylan wanted to take something that happened in his life and find the positive in it. He wanted to utilize that to make a movement, to make sure that people felt and understood that people with challenges to their abilities could be very dynamic, could be mobile, could be doing lots of things. He truly felt that the old symbol was that static sitting in a wheelchair, not being able to have mobility, not being able to produce and contribute to our great society.

“There is a lot of support to modernize the sign to an image that reflects today’s people with disabilities: they are doing their best to be active, to be moving forward, to be contributing greatly in our communities across our great province of Ontario.”

The new sign is already adopted by a number of cities across Ontario, such as Toronto, Hamilton, Mississauga, Sarnia, Uxbridge, Stratford, with several more in the process.

In addition, more than 70 disability organizations and communities have formally adopted and endorsed the use of the new symbol, including Holland Bloorview Kids Rehab Hospital, Ontario Association of Children’s Rehabilitation Services, March of Dimes, Special Olympics Canada, Easter Seals Canada, Provincial Youth Advocate Irwin Elman, MS Society of Canada, Muscular Dystrophy Canada, MADD, StopGap Foundation, AccessNow, Accessible Media Inc, United Church of Canada, and more.

CONTACT: Ana Sajfert | | 416-325-6242

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