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The iconic white-and-blue sign marking wheelchair accessibility will soon be getting a makeover in New York.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday signed a bill into law requiring future wheelchair-accessible signs to depict a wheelchair in motion, rather than the sedentary stick-figure image that has marked parking spots and ramps for decades.
The new law also will prevent future accessibility signs from using the word “handicapped,” a term advocates say is outdated and offensive to the wheelchair-bound.
“New York has long been a leader when it comes to fighting discrimination to protect New Yorkers including people with disabilities,” Cuomo said in a statement Friday. “This bill is an important step toward correcting society’s understanding of accessibility and eliminating a stigma for more than one million New Yorkers, and I am proud to sign it into law today.”
The law will take effect in 120 days and will only apply to wheelchair-accessible signs that are newly installed or replaced after that date. Existing signs won’t be impacted.