Governor Malloy announced Friday that he will introduce legislation to replace the current "Handicapped Parking" signs with a new symbol and wording.
The signs, which will bear no additional cost to taxpayers, will only be installed when new accessible parking spaces are created or when old signs need repaired, according to a press release from the Governor's office.
The new signs feature a revised logo with the wording changed from "Handicapped Parking" to "Reserved Parking."
The updated symbol is known globally as the “Modified International Symbol of Access,” and has already been adopted in several cities, including Phoenix, Arizona. New York already adopted similar legislation.
Advocates across the world said it's more reflective of the diverse community of those who utilize the accessible parking spaces.
“For decades, Connecticut has been at the forefront in fighting discrimination against persons with disabilities, and this proposal is just one small, simple change that we can make. Even though it will have zero costs, it can have an important long-term impact by fostering a deeper understanding of accessibility,” Governor Malloy said.
The new symbol "suggests independence and engagement, placing the visual focus from the wheelchair to the individual," according to the Governor's office.
Many businesses across Connecticut have already adopted the new signage, including Cigna.
A campaign started last fall by Stephen Morris, the executive director of Favrah, The Arc of Farmington Valley, promoted adoption of the new sign. An online petition gained over 2,000 signatures.
"We may all need an accessible community at some point in our lives. This isn’t just about changing a parking sign, it’s about public awareness of disability issues. And this isn’t about changing the community for a few of us. It is about improving the community for all of us,” Morris stated.
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