Have you heard the news? The old handicapped sign is getting a new look in New York City.
Advocates for people with disabilities see the familiar symbol (think: a seemingly still figure, sitting in what appears to be three-quarters of a wheel chair) as an image that reinforces common misconceptions and stereotypes.
Even though the icon is a plain misrepresentation, it became the unofficial logo of an entire population.
This tension sparked a guerrilla campaign to replace the old with the new: an active, vivacious figure, defined more by ability than disability. (And the wheelchair now has a full wheel rather than ¾ths of one, making it significantly more functional.)
Like it or not, images, messages, and names take on a life of their own. Does your organization brand itself in the way it wants to be perceived – innovative, active, and full of personality – or do you (unintentionally) convey a falsely inert or outdated persona?