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When you see the wheelchair icon on washroom doors or parking spots, do the words Sympathy, Access or Equality come to mind? The stylized image of a man in a wheelchair, known as the international symbol of access, is the international symbol of services and facilities that cater to the physically disabled. As a result of a contest in 1969 that aimed to increase awareness of people with physical disabilities, the symbol has since represented those with physical or mental disabilities, no matter where in the world they happen to be.
Parking spaces have been set aside to be exclusively used by the disabled because of this symbol. Even though it is law according to the Americans with Disabilities Act, it is hoped that it isn't just included because it is law but because the owners of the facility has some compassion towards those with handicaps.
Wheelchair Signage and Their Meaning
The ultimate beneficiary are those with the disability who cannot walk, those who need a wheelchair or those who use devices that help with mobility. The wheelchair icon isn't just for those needing wheelchairs, it also represents those with all kinds of disabilities including the deaf or those with debilitating heart conditions. For individuals like the deaf, for whom mobility is not any harder compared to what it might be for somebody who is not deaf, the preferential parking spot fails to make up for his physical issue. Instead, it is more like adherence to a basic principle that anyone who has less in life ought to somehow end up having more in law, to be fair.
The wheelchair symbol stencil is a useful instrument for keeping legal conformity, or sympathy for the handicapped, or both of these, enabling one to paint and touch up the pavement marking when needed. This is not the sole marking that actually works for the handicapped, however, nor is it the sole way to show the parking spots which have been set aside on their behalf.
Handicap Access Slots - Designated Stencils
For example, people of the handicapped community are in favor of a move from the wheelchair icon to the application of a basic capital "A" inside a box, which would mean "Access". It is expected that this image will increase in popularity as time passes, as a much more representative icon for all of the impaired community rather than only the chosen few who happen to be in wheelchairs. It has even been proposed that the "HANDICAP" expression marking, which is easily available in stencil form, similarly be used in its place in order not to discriminate, or establish intolerance, between wheelchair users and other handicapped persons.
There could in fact come a point in time when the wheelchair symbol is not as prevalent as it is at present, changed in support of different methods of marking a spot or equipment as disabled-friendly. For now, however, its widespread usage and unquestionable renown render it the best choice at present.