The disability experience conference
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The disability experience conference. Creators of the Accessible Icon Project. Sarah Hendren - graduate student from Harvard Graduate School of Design. Dr. Brain Glenney - associate philosophy professor at Gordon College. The First Edition.

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The disability experience conference

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The disability experience conference

The disability experience conference

Creators of the accessible icon project

Creators of the Accessible Icon Project

Sarah Hendren- graduate student from Harvard Graduate School of Design

Dr. Brain Glenney- associate philosophy professor at Gordon College

The first edition

The First Edition

  • In 2009, Sara Hendren and Brian Glenney started a street art campaign in Boston to highlight the shortcomings of the current International Symbol of Access

  • Design focused on showing movement

Art campaign to advocacy project

Art Campaign to Advocacy Project

  • Noticed by Biller Baker from the Boston Globes

  • Response to article changed direction of the project

Redesigning the symbol

Redesigning the Symbol

  • Abides by ISO DOT 50 Standards

  • Complies with ADA Regulations

  • New design fit for parking sign and stencil

The evolution of the symbol

The Evolution of the symbol

The disability experience conference

  • ISO DOT 50 standards: a universally accepted icon set that determines the look of the figures you commonly see on bathroom signage

The partnership begins

The Partnership Begins

  • Triangle

    • Corporate partners like Clarks USA and Building Restoration Corp.

    • The mayor of Malden, MA

  • Gordon College

    • Change signs around campus

    • Funding for new website

Why should we portray our citizen like this

Why Should we portray our citizen like this…

  • The symbol has not been changed since 1968

  • Current symbol leads to thoughts of passivity and inability

When they are really like

When they are really like…

  • The new symbol reinforces themes of life, energy, and determination

  • Design focused on movement

Where the project is now

Where the Project is now

  • Grown from a grass roots campaign to become a larger social design effort, now housed and run by Triangle

  • Now people all over the world use the symbol to signal their wishes for more inclusive institutions, economies, and workplaces everywhere.



  • United States

    • Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Texas, New York, Iowa, Ohio, Missouri, Connecticut, Virginia, Arizona, North Carolina, Washington

  • International

    • India, France, Brazil, Italy, Canada, Korea, Alaska, Mexico

  • Types of Partnerships

    • Businesses, Cities, Hospitals, Parks and Recreation Centers, Universities, Schools, Restaurants, Websites, Cruise Industry, Sport Teams

***Currently, the project is fortunate to have a number of partners who not only use the Icon in their buildings, but are also creating a stronger relationship with people with disabilities



  • Symbol Shift

    • Spark Conversation

  • Advocacy Activation

    • Illustrate the active and engaged role people with disabilities play in society

  • Community Change

    • Prompt people to include individuals with disabilities in the workplace, schools, and in society

  • ***Changing the symbol is part of changing the universally accepted mindset about people with disabilities

    In conclusion

    In Conclusion

    • Visual Representation Matters

    • People Matter

    • The Accessible Icon Matters!

    Contact: Leah Serao


    e. [email protected]

    p. 732-642-5415

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