Tag Archives: disabled parking

Which Accessibility Icon to Use

Accessible parking symbolBy Helen Sullivan

IPMI members have asked me which symbol to use to mark an accessible parking spot.

Good question! I strongly recommend—without hesitation—using the traditional, upright icon to mark accessible parking spots.

There is a movement to switch from the traditional accessibility icon for parking signs to one that features the icon angled forward. Several states and a few cities have adopted the forward leaning symbol, however, parking and mobility professionals should be aware that to meet federal guidelines, the traditional accessibility icon must be used.

I understand that to some, the forward leaning symbol connotes action, ability, and empowerment for people with disabilities, but there are other advocates for individuals who disagree. I understand the pros and cons. At the Accessible Parking Coalition, we originally incorporated the forward leaning icon into our logo, only to be advised by APC founding member and friend David Capozzi, executive director of the U.S. Access Board, that we needed to change that—and fast—to avoid confusion within the industry! In fact, the U.S. Access Board issued a news release in 2017 to clear up the issue definitively.

At this time, based on the current U.S. Access Board guidelines, the traditional icon of the International Symbol of Accessibility (ISA) is the one to use to ensure accessible spaces meet federal regulations, including those issued under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). However, this presents complications in cities and states that require use of the other symbol. Should anything change, I promise to let you know!

Helen Sullivan is director of the IPMI-led Accessible Parking Coalition.

TV Crew Follows Investigators Cracking Down on Disabled Placard Abuse

California has embarked on a wide-ranging program to catch drivers illegally using disabled parking placards. The effort comes on the heels of an estimate that one in 10 placards in the state is misused, either with drivers parking in ADA-reserved spaces when they’re not driving a person to whom a placard was issued, or by using a placard obtained illegally. They’ve found placards being sold on eBay for  about $60.

A television news crew recently followed DMV investigators through Oakland on a crackdown, where they talked with people using placards illegally and people with disabilities who voiced frustration at the actions of other drivers. See the video here.

For more information and resources about disabled placard abuse–and to share your own experiences or data–visit accessibleparkingcoalition.org.

Camera Crew in ADA Parking Space Sparks Furor

An MSNBC camera crew who blocked a parking space reserved for the disabled at an early voting polling place even after a disabled military veteran needed it sparked fury earlier this week. And in a sure indication that people around the world were talking about it, the facts about it have now been dissected on snopes.com.

The Houston man, who has multiple sclerosis, posted online that when he arrived to vote, the only space for the disabled at the polling place was taken up by the news crew, who refused to move so he could park. The post went viral almost immediately, leading to an apology from the reporter. This week, even snopes.com, which sets out to prove or debunks viral stories, investigated and posted its findings across social media in one of its popular fact checks.

Read the Snopes post here. And get information and resources to share about accessible parking here.