Disability Network/Michigan is promoting an accessibility icon that is not ADA compliant and directly harms both local disability communities and businesses and local governments that are required to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The Go Logo website (migologo.org) explains it bluntly: “[It] has the power to change public perception of people with disabilities from one of stationary helplessness to one of active independence.”
According to Michigan Capitol Confidential, bill sponsor and State Representative Beau LaFave said of the legislation, “We don’t have to use the stick figures anymore and we can make it look like a human being that is doing something. As it looks right now, it’s just like someone is just sitting there doing nothing.”
The idea that independence and access to civil rights are related to physical strength and the ability to assimilate into non-disabled society is ableist in the extreme. The stated intent of the Go Logo is to communicate that the significance of a physical disability is directly proportional to helplessness.
This message reinforces society’s negative assumptions about disability and harms the people it is intended to help. For example, a person without an accessible parking placard cannot be ticketed for using an accessible parking space that is not properly marked with the International Symbol of Accessibility. That infringes on our rights and decreases access to our communities.
It also presents a major legal problem for the businesses and local governments that are required to comply with the ADA and / or the Rehabilitation Act.
Disability Network seeks to change state law to require entities covered by the ADA to use the Go Logo. However, state law does not change federal requirements to use the International Symbol of Accessibility.
- Read about Michigan’s proposed legislation, which has passed the House and is currently under review by the Senate.
According to the US Access Board, “a symbol other than the ISA [International Symbol of Accessibility] will not comply with the ADA Standards unless it satisfies the ‘equivalent facilitation’ provision (§103)”.Continue reading