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Designers And Marketers: There Is No Universal Symbol For Disabilities

Blog, Branding & Design, Diversity & Inclusion, Marketing, Small Business

Show Notes

As business work in design and marketing, representing disabilities have been challenging. There is always the question about the right or wrong way to properly include and represent the disable community.

Unfortunately, the default way web and graphic designers, as well as a marketers represent the disabled community is by using the “Wheel Chair Symbol” also known as “The Universal Sign of Accessibility”.

The truth is, there is “No Universal Symbol for Disabilities”.

It is important for those in the design and marketing world to understand this. The disabled community does not have a symbol and we don’t want one. However, we do appreciate the “The Universal Sign of Accessibility” which helps us navigate the world better.

Please stop using the “Wheel Chair Symbol” as a default graphic when dealing with topics based on disabilities for design, blogs, flyers, events, marketing, etc. Unless you are using it purely to represent accessibility options.

Also, only 11.6 percent of people in the disabled community use wheel chairs and 80% of disabilities are invisible.

If you want to represent those with disabilities on website, in graphic design and marketing, use real people. 1 and 4 people living in the united states has a disability so it is important that the disabled community is represented.

Aunia Kahn, Rise Visible CEO

Aunia Kahn is the CEO of Rise Visible. With 24 years in the industry, she is a highly sought-after digital marketer, strategist, designer and public speaker. Rise Visible was named a Top-Ranking Woman-Owned Digital Agency by Clutch and is a certified Disability-Owned Business Enterprises (DOBE®). Kahn is also an internationally renowned artist and photographer and has been in over 300 exhibitions in 10 countries; at places such as SDAI, iMOCA, and the SLAM. She founded Create for Healing, is the host of the Rise Above Be Visible Podcast and a contributing writer for Better Marketing and Just Creative. She been featured on Yahoo, Prevention Magazine, Authority Magazine and Entrepreneur on Fire. She also identified as a disabled business owner in STEM surviving and thriving with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (Type 3), MCAS, Dysautonomia, POTS, PTSD, etc.


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